What is the US Open in Bowling?
The Professional Bowlers Association United States Open, also known as simply the US Open, is one of the five majors on the World Bowling Tour. It is open to both professionals and amateurs and has been played for over 80 years. Read on to learn more about the US Open in bowling, including its history, format, and how players qualify for the tournament.
- Venue: Royal Pin Woodland (changes yearly)
- Location: Indianapolis, IN (changes yearly)
- Date: January 29, 2023 - February 5, 2023 (changes yearly)
- Organization: Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)
- First Event: 1942
- 2023 Winner: EJ Tackett
- 2023 Prize: $100,000
The PBA US Open was first played in 1942, and has been played every year since except 1997 and 2014. Prior to 1971, the tournament was known as the BPAA All-Star. The 1971 edition of the tournament was the first of the modern US Open era. The first edition of the BPAA All-Star in 1942 was won by John Crimmons, and the first of the US Open era in 1971 was won by Mike Limongello. The player with the most US Open wins is the legendary Pete Weber, who won the tournament five times in his career.
Automatic qualification is granted to the following players:
- U.S. Open winners of last 10 years
- USBC Masters winners of last three years
- PBA World Championship winners of last three years
- PBA Tournament of Champions winners of last three years
- PBA Players Championship winners of last three years
- USBC Open Championships Regular All-Events winners of last three years
- 2022 USBC Senior Masters winner
- 2022 PBA Senior U.S. Open winner
- 2022 Junior Gold U20 boys winner
- Intercollegiate Singles Championships men’s winners of last two years
- 2022 U.S. Open top-five finishers
- Top 75 on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour points list
- 2022 Team USA (men) and Junior Team USA (boys) members
- 2022 U.S. Amateur top three men’s finishers
- Winner of each (up to 10) U.S. Open regional qualifier
- BPAA exemption
The 2023 edition of the PBA US Open had a total of 108 players after the conclusion of the pre-tournament qualifiers. Pre-tournament qualifiers (PTQ) are matches played prior to the main event, where amateurs and professionals not automatically qualified can get a chance to participate in the tournament. There are a different number of players invited and qualification spots each year.
All 108 players start the tournament by playing 24 games each in three sets of eight. After the first eight games, players will switch lanes. The players do the same after the next eight games. The top 36 players in terms of total pinfall will move on to the next round, playing eight more games. After that round, the top 24 players move on to the round-robin round.
In the round-robin round, players play 24 match-play games against each other. Thirty bonus pins are granted for winning a match, and 15 bonus pins are awarded for a tie. The top five players after the round-robin round advance to the championship round. Each of the five players will play matches against each other in the same match play format. The highest-pinfall at the end of the championship round is declared the winner.
In the 2023 edition of the tournament, the total purse was $300,750. The winner of the tournament took home $100,000 and the runner-up took home $50,000. Since its inception, the PBA US Open has been one of the most lucrative of the majors, being the first bowling tournament to award over $100,000 in prize money.
The prize money breakdown is as follows:
- Champion: $100,000
- 2nd: $50,000
- 3rd: $25,000
- 4th: $16,000
- 5th: $10,000
- 6th: $7,750
- 7th: $6,500
- 8th: $6,000
- 9th: $5,500
- 10th: $5,000
- 11th: $4,550
- 12th: $4,300
- 13th: $4,150
- 14th: $4,000
- 15th: $3,850
- 16th: $3,700
- 17th: $3,550
- 18th: $3,400
- 19th: $3,300
- 20th: $3,200
- 21st: $3,100
- 22nd: $3,000
- 23rd: $2,900
- 24th: $2,800
- 25th-36th: $1,600
Who has won the most PBA US Opens ever?
Bowling legend Pete Webber has won the most PBA US Opens ever, winning the event five times throughout his career. He won the event in 1988, 1991, 2004, 2007, and 2012. Webber is also the only player to ever win the PBA US Open in four separate decades. His father, Dick Webber, and Don Carter both have the next-most wins, with four each.