Australia's Jason Belmonte among the undefeated players at 2016 USBC Masters


    2016 PBA Tour #4

    Three-time defending champion is two wins away from locking up a spot in the stepladder finals for the fourth consecutive year



    2015PBAJasonBelmonte.jpg2015PBAWSOBKrisPrather.jpgJason Belmonte (pictured left and above at the 2015 PBA Team Challenge) again proved why he's considered the best bowler in the world by battling back from a 38-pin deficit to remain undefeated at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters.

    The three-time defending champion struck on five of his last six shots, including a clutch double in the 10th frame, to defeat Kristopher Prather (right) of Milton, Florida, 669-666, and now is two wins away from locking up a spot in the USBC Masters stepladder finals for the fourth consecutive year.

    The 2016 Masters features a total prize fund of $295,000 and is a major event on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. The finals will be broadcast live on ESPN on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, with $50,000 and the coveted Masters trophy going to the winner.

    2016PBA03JasonBelmonte.jpgBelmonte, who made history last year by becoming the first bowler to win the Masters three consecutive times, is 3-0 this year and one of eight bowlers remaining in the winners bracket at Woodland Bowl.

    A fill-ball epiphany after his second game against Prather pointed Belmonte in the right direction, and his fate then came down to execution.

    "When I threw the fill ball and saw the way it hooked off the spot, I knew there was a big game out there, but I'd have to execute and get the pins to fall my way," said Belmonte, who defeated Missy Parkin and Aaron Lorincz earlier Friday.

    "When you're down 38, you don't have a lot of room for error. I don't know Kris too well, but I can see he's a shotmaker. You never want to give your opponent a chance, so getting the double in the 10th was huge. It also was a big confidence boost."

    2015PBAWSOBWesMalott.jpg2015PBAWSOBEJTackett.jpgBelmonte will be back on the lanes Saturday at 9 a.m. Eastern to take on 10-time PBA Tour champion Wes Malott (left) of Pflugerville, Texas, in a rematch of the 2013 Masters title tilt. The Australian two-hander won that match 258-245 to claim his first Masters victory.

    Other winners bracket matches scheduled for Friday morning include 2014 Masters runner-up EJ Tackett (right) of Huntington, Indiana, against 19-year-old recent PBA Tour champion Anthony Simonsen of Princeton, Texas; Team USA member Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, against Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Florida, and Canada's Dan MacLelland against Tim Foy Jr. of Seaford, Delaware.

    Eight bowlers still remain in the elimination bracket, and they, too, will be back on the lanes at Woodland Bowl on Saturday at 9 a.m. Eastern.

    The list of competitors in the elimination bracket includes, two-time Masters champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Florida, Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Arizona, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, Houston's Shawn Maldonado, Brandon Novak of Chillicothe, Ohio, Sweden's Martin Larsen and Prather.

    2016USBCMastersLogo_small.jpg All competitors this week bowled 15 games of qualifying, before a cut was made to the top 63, who joined Belmonte in the double-elimination match-play bracket. All rounds of the Masters are being covered live on Xtra Frame, the PBA's online bowling channel.


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    2016 USBC Masters - Match Play Round 1 Results

    Double-elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall. Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket

    Match Play Bracket (PDF file)

    (1) Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. (64) Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 613-507
    (33) Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., def. (32) Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 636-557
    (17) Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., def. (48) J.R. Raymond, Saginaw, Mich., 663-649
    (16) John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., def. (49) Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 704-590

    (56) Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., def. (9) Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 615-589
    (41) Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, def. (24) Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 675-636
    (25) Alex Aguiar, Dartmouth, Mass., def. (40) Miguel Lopez, Wichita, Kan., 624-567
    (57) Bob Learn Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., def. (8) Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 645-602

    (5) Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, def. (60) AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 714-601
    (28) Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., def. (37) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 647-588
    (21) Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., def. (44) Dan Bock, Albert Lea, Minn., 604-526
    (53) Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., def. (12) Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 673-564

    (13) E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. (52) Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 737-555
    (45) Steve Harman, Indianapolis, def. (20) Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 590-490
    (29) Joe Bailey, Doylestown, Ohio, def. (36) Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 609-593
    (4) Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., def. (61) Tommy Dakouvanos, Belford, N.J., 620-565

    (3) Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., def. (62) Stuart Williams, Phoenix, 714-604
    (30) Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. (35) Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 591-508
    (19) Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., def. (46) Martin Larsen, Sweden, 702-686
    (14) Shawn Maldonado, Houston, def. (51) Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., (one-ball roll-off after 633 tie)

    (11) Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., def. (54) Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 578-560
    (22) Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., def. (43) Sam Cooley, Australia, 638-561
    (27) Anthony Pepe, East Elmhurst, N.Y., def. (38) Nicholas Pate, Inner Grove Heights, Minn., 694-514
    (6) Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, def. (59) Jonathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 635-610

    (58) Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., def. (7) Osku Palermaa, Finland, 617-588
    (26) Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, def. (39) Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 648-628
    (42) Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., def. (23) Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio, 616-539
    (55) Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., def. (10) Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 705-606

    (15) Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, def. (50) Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 653-601
    (18) David Simard, Canada, def. (47) Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 591-526
    (34) Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, def. (31) Jason Poli, Waukee, Iowa, 606-445
    (2) Dan MacLelland, Canada, def. (63) Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 756-613


    Winners Bracket Round Two

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to losers bracket.

    Belmonte def. Lorincz, 714-655
    Prather def. Szczerbinski, 635-605
    Malott def. WR Williams Jr., 699-661
    Aguiar def. Learn, 661-653

    Simonsen def. O'Neill, 612-605
    Buss def. Ogle, 635-552
    Tackett def. Harman, 696-655
    Smallwood def. Bailey, 668-572

    Daugherty def. Ciminelli, 689-609
    Maldonado def. Kruml, 621-616
    Kent def. Blanchard, 713-565
    Via def. Pepe, 717-698

    Machuga def. Loschetter, 657-629
    Foy def. Troup, 668-659
    Simard def. Hess, 642-604
    MacLelland def. Bohr, 742-651


    Losers Bracket Round Two

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $1,600.

    Kulick def. Parkin, 541-538
    Lopez def. Van Hees, 684-662
    McCarthy def. Raymond, 597-581
    Guerrero def. Lavoie, 649-604

    Angelo def. Johnson, 669-614
    Norton def. Dakouvanos, 725-673
    Haugen def. Bock, 647-634
    Russell def. Ostrander, 609-598

    S. Williams def. Young, 725-687
    Pate def. Bower, 651-620
    Larsen def. Allen, 682-657
    Cooley def. Newell, 706-564

    Novak def. Palermaa, 618-578
    Edwards def. Poli, 688-488
    Beasley def. Dombrowski, 686-613
    Barnes def. Monacelli, 673-609


    Winners Bracket Round Three

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to losers bracket.

    Belmonte def. Prather, 669-666
    Malott def. Aguiar, 556-538
    Simonsen def. Buss, 699-649
    Tackett def. Smallwood, 612-574

    Daugherty def. Maldonado, 656-631
    Kent def. Via, 637-577
    Foy def. Machuga, 596-560
    MacLelland def. Simard, 713-570


    Losers Bracket Round Three

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $1,800.

    Kulick def. Kruml, 597-535
    Blanchard def. Lopez, 687-658
    Ciminelli def. McCarthy, 594-537
    Pepe def. Guerrero, 620-600

    Angelo def. Troup, 633-621
    Hess def. Norton, 730-609
    Loschetter def. Haugen, 692-662
    Bohr def. Russell 609-527

    Szczerbinski def. S. Williams, 677-631
    WR Williams Jr. def. Pate, 672-594
    Larsen def. Lorincz, 611-583
    Learn def. Cooley, 587-577

    Novak def. Ogle, 592-526
    Edwards def. Harman, 587-569
    Beasley def. O'Neill, 614-566
    Barnes def. Bailey, 600-550


    Losers Bracket Round Four

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $2,150.

    Blanchard def. Kulick, 654-590
    Ciminelli def. Pepe, 643-612
    Angelo def. Hess, 682-619
    Loschetter def. Bohr, 697-621

    WR Williams Jr. def. Szczerbinski, 714-656
    Larsen def. Learn, 659-559
    Novak def. Edwards, 642-627
    Beasley def. Barnes, 722-656


    Losers Bracket Round Five

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $2,500.

    Blanchard def. Buss, 635-587
    Ciminelli def. Smallwood, 596-532
    Prather def. Angelo, 650-621
    Loschetter def. Aguiar, 604-596

    WR Williams Jr. def. Simard, 761-588
    Larsen def. Machuga, 658-524
    Novak def. Via, 692-627
    Maldonado def. Beasley, 652-595