INDIANAPOLIS - Frank Snodgrass of Sterling Heights, Michigan, is looking forward to competing alongside the best bowlers on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour each week during the 2022 season, and he collected some early momentum as the leader in the pre-tournament qualifier at the U.S. Open.
Snodgrass was one of 26 players to claim a spot Sunday at Woodland Bowl to complete the field at the 2022 event, which is limited to 108 competitors.
The 28-year-old right-hander averaged more than 219 during the eight-game qualifier and earned the top spot with a 1,756 total.
Joining Snodgrass in the top five Sunday were David Stouffer of Lehigh Acres, Florida (1,743), Ryan Stubblefield of St. Charles, Missouri (1,742), two-time Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour champion Maria José Rodriguez of Colombia (1,715) and Canada's Nathan Ruest-Lajoie (1,695).
The final spot was earned by Deo Benard of Keller, Texas, who finished with a 1,608 total (201 average).
Other noteworthy players earning spots in the main field included Perry Crowell IV of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, who finished fourth at the 2020 U.S. Open (ninth - 1,674), and Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio, who at 17 years old, became the youngest bowler to win a PWBA Tour event at the 2021 PWBA BowlTV Classic (tied for 23rd - 1,614).
Snodgrass joined the PBA this season, and he kicked things off earlier in January with a 19th-place finish at the Midwest qualifier for the PBA Players Championship, the first major of the new year.
He took away some good things from the experience but quickly went back to work in preparation for the U.S. Open and the rest of the PBA Tour season.
"I bowled OK at the Players Championship, but there were definitely some things I needed to work on in my physical game, and I drilled some new equipment," Snodgrass said. "I spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks at Turbo Tech, so I felt like my swing was really good coming here. I hope this brings me some momentum, but I just have to keep bowling well and throwing good shots. I got through the PTQ and was fortunate enough to lead, but the rest of the tournament starts now."
Qualifying for the U.S. Open starts Tuesday at 8 a.m. Eastern, but all competitors will have the opportunity to prepare for the rest of the week during four official practice sessions Monday. Each session will feature one of the four lane conditions scheduled to be used during the event.
Snodgrass may be making his U.S. Open debut this week, but he's very familiar with the event's reputation for some of the most demanding conditions in the sport. He plans to use Monday's sessions to learn as much as he can.
"I'm going to relax for the rest of the day and come in tomorrow with an open mind for the practice session and see how it goes," Snodgrass said. "I just expect them to very hard. Plain and simple."
Qualifying at the U.S. Open will feature 24 games over three days (eight games each day) on three different oil patterns, with the top 36 athletes bowling eight more games on a fourth lane condition, to determine the 24 bowlers for round-robin match play.
Advancers will bowl three additional eight-game rounds and receive bonus pins for each win in match play. At the conclusion of 56 games, the top five competitors will advance to the televised stepladder, based on total pinfall and bonus pins.
The championship round will be broadcast live on FS1 on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. Eastern. All rounds of qualifying and match play will be featured live at BowlTV.com.
The winner of the 2022 U.S. Open will take home a $100,000 top prize and the coveted green jacket presented to the winner. The tournament is a collaborative effort between the United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors' Association of America and again will be considered a major on the PBA Tour.