FAIRLAWN: Matt O’Grady became a true Cinderella story Sunday afternoon at AMF Riviera Lanes.

O’Grady, a 31-year-old right-hander from Rahway, N.J., won all four of his matches, including a victory over top-seeded Jesper Svensson in the title match, to win the PBA Tournament of Champions for his first PBA title.

Needing just a mark and good count in the 10th frame, O’Grady flushed all 10 back on his first shot to claim the TOC with a 207-193 win over Svensson.

“I feel like I’m sleepwalking. It’s a dream come true,” O’Grady said. “It just shows you what hard work can do. I’ve been working hard this past year to be able to compete at this level.”

It wasn’t easy for O’Grady to even get to this point. The 10-year pro, who holds four career regional titles, had to enter Monday’s Pre-Tournament Qualifier (PTQ) to even have a chance to be part of the TOC’s field of 80. An 11th-place finish out of 29 bowlers was enough for O’Grady to make the field.

O’Grady had just two televised finals appearances in his career before Sunday, and his best finish was a fourth at the 2016 PBA Shark Championship.

It’s been more than 20 years since a bowler in the five seed worked his way up to win the TOC, with Dave D’Entremont of Middleburg Heights in 1996 being the last to do so.

O’Grady’s run as a fifth seed to the title match was one of the most remarkable in PBA history, and added to the mystique of the TOC and Riviera Lanes. O’Grady faced his doubles partner, BJ Moore, in the first match and the winner was in doubt until Moore left a 3-4-6-10 split in the 10th, got just two pins and finished with a 174. O’Grady then struck on his first ball to put the match away and won 219-174.

Next up was 16-time PBA title holder and nine-time major champion Jason Belmonte, who was making his 11th appearance on TV since the start of last season and fifth consecutive appearance in a major.

“Belmo” was locked in early and it looked like the match would be over quickly, but O’Grady struck on five of his first six balls. After Belmonte struck six of his first seven shots — with only a wobbling 10 pin in the fifth standing in the way of the front seven — it was O’Grady who made the first real mistake when he left a 2-10 split and whiffed on both pins. The sounds of “This one is over, Johnny” were being heard in every part of Riviera.

But in just a blink of an eye, Belmonte showed everyone is human and made the biggest mistake of the day by chopping the 6-10 in the eighth frame. That gave new life to O’Grady, who threw the next three strikes to earn a hard-fought 229-225 win over Belmonte as the drama built once again at Riviera.

“I say hard work beats talent, and that’s been my phrase all week ’cause all these guys obviously with all these titles and a lots of talent like Jason Belmonte who’s the best,” O’Grady said. “So hard work pays off sometimes.”

Next up for O’Grady in the semifinals was 22-year-old Andrew Anderson, who was making his first TV appearance. That lack of experience showed as the smooth Anderson only struck three times, and a big split (3-4-6-7-10) in the eighth gave O’Grady enough breathing room to advance 194-185 despite a 4-9 split in the ninth.

“That was the big money-making match, as it was a $10,000 difference so that was the real money as we were both feeling knowing we’re young and could really use it,” O’Grady said of the breaks he got in the semifinal match.

Other then Belmonte, Svensson is the next hottest bowler on the planet as his powerful two-handed shot makes the pins look like toothpicks. But just like everyone else, the bright lights on Lanes 27-28 seemed to force Svensson into some mistakes.

The first mistake came quickly as Svensson left the 4-6 split and went 9 out for an open frame to start the title match. After a double in the second and third frames, Svensson managed just two more strikes the rest of the way on top of four 9 spares, resulting in a 193 game after he had averaged a field-best 230 during the week.

O’Grady threw five strikes in the title match, four on the right lane, to go with five 9 spares en route to a very productive 207 game and the championship.

Afterward, he was all business.

“We still got two more stops on the swing here and we still have a 4½-hour drive to Indianapolis and we have to start at 10 a.m. [Monday],” said O’Grady about celebrating his victory, “so I think I’ll take a rain check on the party.”

The original Cinderella didn’t hang around for the party either.