O’GRADY HAT TRICK


story tease

By JOHN BASSETTI

sports@vindy.com

HUBBARD

As old as it is, Bell-Wick Bowl never gets old for Matthew O’Grady, who won his third straight PBA Hubbard Open on Sunday.

The 31-year-old from Rahway, N.J., won the Hubbard Open’s $2,600 first-place prize after a 4,944 pinfall for the weekend. Matt Sanders of Indianapolis was next with 4,734, followed by Frank Snodgrass of Center Line, Mich., Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. and John Furey of Howell, N.J.

After beating Sanders in the championship match, O’Grady turned to the Bell-Wick crowd and asked, “Can I get a locker?”

The comment isn’t far-fetched since O’Grady’s been at Bell-Wick four times — his first about six years ago when he finished about 19th.

“I love the place,” O’Grady said.

The Hubbard Open is a combined PBA Central and East region event with the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau as title sponsor.

“I have a lot of hand action,” said O’Grady, “which means that I rotate the ball a lot and helps to make it skid, through all the dry on the lane: the high-friction surface of the wood lanes.

“As a result, it helps me get a lot more pin action.”

Because the lane condition suitable for O’Grady is better later when there’s a lot more “dry” on the lane, it was reflected in his last two scores of 269 and 244.

“I kind of elevate my focus more [once stepladders kick in] and eliminate distractions,” he said. I’m just thankful that my ball rolls good here.”

Sanders, a national and regional regular since joining the PBA last year, has one national tour title to his credit: the Billy Harwick Memorial in Memphis, Tenn. in June. “Hubbard is the biggest and one of the first individual regionals of the year, so I wanted to start off the year well,” Sanders said. But the 24-year-old didn’t start off well against O’Grady.

“Matt bowled a great game, but they’d broken down pretty well,” Sanders said of the title match lanes.

“There were higher scores on that side of the lane,” Sanders, a left-hander, said of the more advantageous lane conditions for right-handers.

“I came over here [lanes 19 & 20], basically, to a fresh pair and I just couldn’t get wide enough to beat him. I don’t know if any lefties had been on that pair before. They [right-handers] had been breaking down the pair just about every game, so I came over here to a fresh pair [for a lefty].”

Sanders, an Evansville, Ind. native, said it wasn’t an alibi for finishing runner-up.

“It could be a handicap, but I’d say that either the left side has it or it doesn’t. I just needed a lot better game to beat him.”

Snodgrass came out of nowhere, literally, to make the stepladders before losing to O’Grady, 269-166, in the next-to-last match of the day.

Snodgrass, 24, a Hubbard Open first-timer, started in 14th place Sunday morning.

“I didn’t decide to come until Tuesday. I was on edge because there was a tournament back home and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bowl back home or come out and bowl Hubbard Saturday. It turned out well for me.”

Snodgrass, who joined the PBA last June and won a non-champions regional in Monroe, Mich., in November, said that he really wasn’t that close with about five or six games left in round-robin.

“But I got on a good string and won my last five matches to get up to fourth place.”

Against O’Grady, Snodgrass said that the lanes “kind of blew open and I didn’t catch the move until about the fifth or sixth frame. It’s hard when he’s going 290 [on a pace for 290] at the time I’m down 50-60 with five frames to go and. With a guy like that, he’s not going to give you those pins back.”

Shafer said that he doesn’t remember seeing Snodgrass before, but that his style reminds him of another pro.

“He throws a full-roller, kind of like Tom Smallwood — that means it rolls between the fingers and thumb, so it’s a little different,” Shafer said. “But he [Snodgrass] is a good player.”

Furey entered the stepladder phase as the No. 5 seed, then bowled against No. 4 Snodgrass for a second consecutive match, but rolled 185 to Snodgrass’ 236.

“Back-to-back matches,” said Furey, who started Sunday’s matchplay round in 15th place.

“I was outside the top five until the last game [game 19 of 20]; that’s generally how it goes for me,” said Furey. He was then matched with Snodgrass in the 20th — or position-round — game. Foy finished sixth after losing in his position-round game against Shafer.

Hubbard Open

  1. Matt O’Grady, Rahway, N.J. ($2,600); 2. Matt Sanders, Indianapolis ($1,350); 3. Frank Snodgrass, Center Line, Mich. ($1,200); 4. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. ($1,100); 5. John Furey, Howell, N.J. ($1,000); 6. Tim Foy, Jr., Seaford, Del. ($900); 7. Graham Fach, Canada ($825); 7. n-Brandon White, Maple Heights, ($825); 9. Michael Clark, Jr., Cleveland ($775); 10. Aaron Lorincz, Center Line, Mich. ($750); 11. Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa. ($725); 12. Larry Verble, Mason, Mich. ($700); 13. Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa. ($675); 14. Nate Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla. ($650); 15. Chris Loschetter, Avon, ($625); 16. Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J. ($600); 17. n-Robert Harvischak, Campbell, O. ($475); 18. Brian Elder, Newark, Del. ($475); 19. Eric Cornog, Cherry Hill, N.J. ($475); 20. Kyle Cook, Centerville, ($475); 21. n-Kevin Bienko, Kenmore, N.Y. ($475); 22. Ryan Ciminelli, Clarence, N.Y. ($475); 22. Richard McCormick, Cincinnati ($475); 24. Kyle Mayberry, Mt. Vernon, ($450); 25. Tom Sorce, Blasdell, N.Y. ($450).

n-PBA non-member.

More like this from vindy.com

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.