Top five set for stepladder finals at 2024 U.S. Open in Indianapolis

Full Match Play Results

After starting with 108 bowlers on Monday, the 2024 U.S. Open presented by Go Bowling! is now down to the final five competitors after five days and 56 total games of competition at Royal Pin Woodland in Indianapolis.

Anthony Simonsen of Las Vegas is the No. 1 seed for Sunday’s stepladder finals, which will be televised live on FOX starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

Australia’s Jason Belmonte, the Professional Bowlers Association Tour’s all-time leader in major titles with 15, will be the No. 2 seed 2021 PBA Player of the Year Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, North Carolina, will be No. 3, and defending champion EJ Tackett of Ossian, Indiana, and 2010 U.S. Open winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, will be slotted as No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. 

All five players will be looking to add to their Hall of Fame resumes by bringing home the coveted green jacket on Sunday.

Simonsen grabbed a hold of the lead after Round 3 of qualifying on Wednesday and never looked back, posting an 18-6 record during match play to secure a berth in Sunday’s championship match. 

That means that the 27-year-old two-hander will only have to win one game in order to collect his 14th PBA title, sixth major and second U.S. Open title.

“It’s been a good week,” Simonsen said. “To get ready for the show, I’m just going to shuffle some balls out of the bag that I didn’t throw. No matter who wins though, it will be well-earned.”

Simonsen will look to become the youngest bowler to win six major championships. If he’s successful, he’d be well on his way toward eventually challenging Belmonte’s record for total major championship titles.

Belmonte found himself in 67th place after the first round of qualifying at this year’s U.S. Open, but he made his way up the standings during each subsequent round to earn the No. 2 seed for Sunday’s TV finals, which puts just two wins away from extending his record with a 16th major championship and the double Super Slam.

“You look at this show, and it’s so good when you look at who all is in it,” Belmonte said. “It’s going to take a lot to win this stepladder, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Troup never dipped below 21st place during the 56 games of competition leading up to Sunday’s stepladder, holding steady in qualifying before going 14-10 in match play to claim a spot on the U.S. Open TV show for the second year in a row. If he wins, he would capture his second major victory – Troup won the 2021 PBA Players Championship.

“It was a lot of focus to make it here and to stay in check with my emotions,” Troup said, “To win, it’ll take some more great bowling and keeping that same focus.”

O’Neill and Tackett were both on the outside looking in after Round 3 of qualifying, but O’Neill’s 1,826 and Tackett’s 1,770 eight-game totals during Round 4 jumped them into 11th and 12th place, respectively, heading into match play. 

Both bowlers continued moving up from there, holding off some fierce challengers to reach Sunday’s stepladder finals.

O’Neill snagged the No. 5 seed despite losing his position-round match to David Krol of Springfield, Missouri, who at one point appeared to be on the verge of going around O’Neill to claim the final spot on the TV show.

“It’s been such a rollercoaster of a week, from thinking I just missed the first cut to now making the show,” said O’Neill. “I needed a decent last game to make it, and I got it. Hats off to David (Krol) though; he’s got a bright future out here.”

O’Neill looks to win his second straight major of the season – he won the season-opening PBA Players Championship on Jan. 15 -while Tackett will attempt to be become the first player since Dave Husted in 1995 and 1996 to repeat as U.S. Open champion.

Tackett knows that he’ll face a gauntlet if he hopes to run up the stepladder to win the bowling’s most prestigious major for the second year in a row, but as Tackett said, to be the best, you have to beat the best. 

“It was a lot of grit to get here; I almost missed the cut, and it was a grind,” Tackett said. “I had a chance to grab the three seed, but I’m on the show and that’s what matters. Strikes is what it’ll take to win.”

The winner of the 2024 U.S. Open will take home the $100,000 top prize, the coveted green jacket and the U.S. Open trophy.

The 2024 U.S. Open is a collaborative effort between the United States Bowling Congress and Bowling
Proprietors’ Association of America and will be considered a major on the PBA Tour. 

The total prize fund for the event will exceed $275,000.

For results, standings and information about the 2024 U.S. Open, CLICK HERE.