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Bob Learn Jr. surges into first round lead in PBA50 Players Championship


Making a late-round surge, three-time PBA50 Tour winner Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., averaged 243.6 for eight games to take the first round lead in the PBA50 Miller Lite Players Championship at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Learn (pictured above in action) bowled games of 248, 237, 214, 197, 289, 264, 235 and 265 for a 1,949 pinfall total to hold a six-pin lead over PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., in second with 1,943.

Learn, who is also a five-time PBA Tour titlist, including the 1999 U.S. Open, found that changing the interchangeable sole on his slide shoe helped give him a more consistent delivery that resulted in better shot-making.

“Usually you go to a different ball for the changing lane conditions, but it was a variation in the approaches that I had to deal with today” Learn said. “I used the same ball the whole round but used three different soles on my slide shoe.”

Learn, who finished second in the Sun Bowl in The Villages and third in last week’s Johnny Petraglia BVL Open, is trying for his first win of the season and first PBA50 Tour major title.

“My confidence level is high right now,” Learn (right) said. “I’m able to put the big strings of strike together. I just need to make it happen in the title match.”

Bohn also had a bad fourth game starting with 257, 236 and 235 before a 184. He got back on track with games 257, 268, 300 and 206 to finish the round.

“That fourth game faked me out a little bit,” said Bohn (left), who is a 35-time PBA Tour and three-time PBA50 Tour titlist.

I changed balls after the third game to stay ahead of the lane condition but I didn’t make the right adjustments with where I was throwing it on the lane. I stuck with the same ball and finally made the right adjustments and everything came together after that.”

PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber (right) of St. Ann, Mo., finished the round in third with a 1,925 pinfall. The two-time reigning PBA50 Player of the Year has gotten off to a slow start this season with finishes of ninth, 16th and 21st.

PBA50 Tour newcomer Danny Clark of New Palestine, Ind., finished fourth with a 1,912 pinfall and Scott Greiner of Platte city, Mo. finished with 1,889 to round out the top five.

The 98-player field returns for another eight-game round of qualifying Monday which will determine the top 32 players who will advance to match play Tuesday morning. After Tuesday’s first match play round, the field will be cut to the top 16 players for the second match play round which will determine the top five for the stepladder finals at 7 p.m. EDT.

The PBA50 Miller Lite Players Championship is being covered live by PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information click here.

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PBA50 Miller Lite Players Championship – First Round

Players with position, hometown and 8-game total; n-non-member, ss-PBA60 player ages 60 and over

1, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 1,949
2, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,943
3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 1,925
4, Danny Clark, New Palestine, Ind., 1,912
5, Scott Greiner, Platte City, Mo., 1,889
6, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 1,874
7, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,873
8, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 1,855
9, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 1,849
10, ss-Tom Baker, King, N.C., 1,833
11, Terry Rohrer, Ft. Wayne, Ind., 1,821
12, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 1,819
13, Mike Keough, Stockton, Calif., 1,800
14, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 1,792
15, Bo Goergen, Sanford, Mich., 1,785
16, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,780
17, Peter Knopp, Germany, 1,771
18, Tim Shirlock, Las Vegas, 1,770
19, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,767
20, ss-John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 1,759
21, Mark Sullivan, Indianapolis, 1,749
22, ss-Gary Kammes, Winfield, Ill., 1,748
23, ss-David Axon, Bellevue, Neb., 1,744
24, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,735
25, Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 1,727
26, ss-Warren Nelson, Hemet, Calif., 1,722
27, ss-Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 1,720
28, Brian Voss, Centennial, Colo., 1,719
29, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 1,718
30, ss-Dale Csuhta, Wadsworth, Ohio, 1,716
31, James Hansen, Anchorage, Alaska, 1,715
32, Todd Kjell, Roscoe, Ill., 1,702
33, Andrew Frawley, Australia, 1,698
34, Eddie Graham, Centerville, Ohio, 1,680
35, Dave Han, Birmingham, Ala., 1,677
36, Patrick Shipley, Spring Valley, Calif., 1,676
37, (tie) ss-Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, Larry Verble, Mason, Mich.,
and ss-Dale Eagle, Twin Falls, Idaho, 1,675
40, Troy Stus, South Lyon, Mich., 1,672
41, ss-James Storts, Westfield, Ind., 1,671
42, Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 1,670
43, Brian LeClair, Delmar, N.Y., 1,669
44, Paul LeMond, Jasper, Ind., 1,668
45, ss-Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 1,665
46, Stoney Baker, Canton, Ga., 1,662
47, ss-Brian Miller, Springfield, Ohio, 1,661
48, ss-Bill Nichols, Bella Vista, Ark., 1,659
49, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,657
50, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 1,655
51, Brian Cooper, Henderson, Nev., 1,653
52, Al Danz Jr., Escanaba, Mich., 1,646
53, (tie) Gary Schluchter, Femont, Ohio,
and Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 1,644
55, (tie) Marty Berke, Allentown, Pa.,
and ss-Tom Carter, Columbus, Ohio, 1,637
57, (tie) ss-Ron Profitt, Brookville, Ohio,
and Conn Casey, Canada, 1,635
59, Scott Merritt, Iowa City, Iowa, 1,625
60, Mike Hastings, Millsboro, Del., 1,615
61, ss-Michael Chrzanowski, Shepherd, Mich., 1,613
62, (tie) Anthony Moses, Southfield, Mich.,
and Gary Faulkner, Norfolk, Va., 1,611
64, Gary Alstott, Washington, Ill., 1,604
65, ss-Sam Maccarone, Blackwood, N.J., 1,603
66, (tie) Scott Weber, La Salle, Ill.,
and Brad Snell, Mount Prospect, Ill., 1,598
68, Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 1,594
69, Patric Donaghue, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., 1,588
70, ss-Michael Lucente, Warren, Mich., 1,587
71, Tommy Martin, Olive Branch, Miss., 1,584
72, Ernie Segura Jr., Taylor, Mich., 1,578
73, Terry Metzner, Kentwood, Mich., 1,576
74, ss-Bill McCorkle, Westerville, Ohio, 1,573
75, ss-Tim Pierce, Portland, Ore., 1,569
76, Tony Johnson, Canton, Ohio, 1,565
77, Richie Brown, Marion, Ohio, 1,562
78, ss-Dave Bernhardt, Romeo, Mich., 1,550
79, Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 1,540
80, Kevin Duncan, Mexico, Mo., 1,538
81, Rick Zakrajsek, Lorain, Ohio, 1,536
82, Rick Francis, Linden, Calif., 1,526
83, Randy Leszczynski, Kronenwetter, Wis., 1,521
84, Steve Kenyon, Dade City, Fla., 1,520
85, Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 1,515
86, ss-Emilio Mora Sr., Defiance, Ohio, 1,489
87, (tie) ss-John Thullen, Whiteland, Ind.,
and Warren Burr, Wilmington, Del., 1,477
89, ss-Galen Keas, Alda, Neb., 1,475
90, ss-James Knoblauch, Waukesha, Wis., 1,472
91, John Kidwell, Indianapolis, Ind., 1,461
92, Charles Gadd, Lake Worth, Fla., 1,460
93, Tony Gilbert, Indianapolis, 1,459
94, Mark Nance Sr., Grove City, Ohio, 1,458
95, Jay Davis Jr., Silver Spring, Md., 1,450
96, ss-Steve Stein, Staten Island, N.Y., 1,422
97, ss-James Hutchinson, Ludlow Falls, Ohio, 1,398
98, ss-Allen Meskan, Addison, Ill., 1,350

300 games (2) – Parker Bohn III, Bo Goergen.

Herbert Bickel

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