Eastway Lanes, Erie, PA, Apr 2-6, 1996

Perfection! Learn Delights Hometown Crowd With 300 Game And Title

Perfection comes in many forms, but for Bob Learn Jr. it came in the form of a $100,000 check after he shot the 10th televised perfect game in the history of the PBA's national tour during the finals of the Flagship Open at the Erie Civic Center.

Learn, an Erie resident performing in front of a soldout hometown crowd, started the ABC-TV telecast with a 300-279 victory over Johnny Petraglia. The perfect game earned him a $100,000 bonus courtesy of Eastway Lanes, which hosted the 42 games of qualifying and match play throughout the week. Learn then went on to win his next three matches to collect his third title and $30,000.

Said Learn, "I could never do anything to match what I've done today. The 300 game, winning the title, the $100,000 and all with my family here and in front of thousands of people in my hometown. It's hard to imagine ever doing something like this."

Lean, who turned 34 two days before the telecast, was never afforded the luxury of a big lead in the opening match. Petraglia, from Manalapan, N.J., matched the veteran, finishing first, calmly struck out to keep the pressure on Learn. Amazingly, Learn still needed a strike to secure the win in the 10th.

Oddly enough, it was Petraglia who shot the last televised 300 game on ABC-TV. He also earned a $100,000 bonus when he shot a perfect game during the championship round of the 1994 PBA National Championship in Toledo, Ohio. This time, he settled for the fifth-place check for $5,000.

Learn proceeded to steamroll his way to the title, shattering PBA records along the way. He struck 10 times in match two against John Mazza including all three in the deciding 10th frame, for a 270-268 victory. Mazza, Shelby Township, Mich., earned $8,000 for fourth.

He struck 11 times in the semifinal match against Parker Bohn III and again needed all three in the 10th for a 280-279 win. Bohn, Jackson, N.J., collected $10,000 for third.

Eleven more strikes followed in the title match against tournament leader Randy Pedersen. Pedersen, Hollywood, Fla., failed to strike only twice, converting a 2-8 leave in the fifth for a spare and making a single-pin conversion of the 10-pin to open the 10th frame, but was defeated 279-257.

When the dust had cleared, a number of PBA records had been set. Learns three and four-game TV totals of 850 and 1,129 easily broke the records of 815 (Jim Stefanich in 1975) and 1,070 (David Ozio in 1995). Learn averaged an incredible 282.25 for his four games. The five finalists averaged 276.50 for their eight games, shattering the previous TV aggregate average mark of 253 set in the 1995 Erie event. Learn struck 44 times in four games and his 300 game was his 52nd sanctioned perfect game, tying him with two others for the world record.


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
@1Bob Learn Jr., Erie, PA1129 (4 games)$30,000
2Randy Pedersen, Hollywood, FL257 (1 game)15,000
3Parker Bohn III, Jackson, NJ279 (1 game)10,000
4John Mazza, Shelby Township, MI268 (1 game)8,000
5Johnny Petraglia, Manalapan, NJ279 (1 game)5,000

PLAYOFF RESULTS-Learn defeated Petraglia, 300-279; Loam defeated Mazza, 270-268: Learn defeated Bohn, 280-279; and in the championship game, Learn defeated Pedersen, 279-257. @-Learn earned $100,000 for bowling a300 game.


 Name, CityPinsAvg  WLT+TotAmt
1Randy Pedersen, Hollywood, FL 10109 240.7 17-7-0 510 10619 
#2Parker Bohn III, Jackson, NJ 10171 242.2 13-11-0 390 10561 
#3John Mazza, Shelby Township, MI 9845 234.4 14-10-0 420 10265 
4Johnny Petraglia, Manalapan, NJ 9771 232.6 16-e-0 480 10251 
5Bob Learn fir., Erie, PA 9842 234.3 12-11-1 375 10217 
6Pete Weber, St. Ann, MO 9745 232.0 15-9-0 450 10195 $3,500
#7Roger Bowker, Ocala, FL 9827 233.9 12-12-0 360 10187 3,200
8Danny Wiseman, Baltimore 9905 235.8 9-15-0 270 10175 3,000
#9Doug Kent, Canandaigua, NY 9687 230.6 16-8-0 480 10167 2,800
10Mike Aulby, Indianapolis 9827 233.9 11-13-0 330 10157 2,675
11Mark William s, Beaumont, TX 9728 231.6 13-11-0 390 10118 2,550
12David Traber, Woodstock, IL 9793 233.2 10-14-0 300 10093 2,425
#13Walter Ray Williams Jr., Stockton, CA 9686 230.6 11-11-2 360 10046 2,300
#14Ken McNealy, Morganton, NC 9547 227.3 16-8-0 480 10027 2,175
15Brian Eaton, Buffalo, NY 9602 228.6 14-10-0 420 10022 1,988
#Jeff Lizzi, Sandusky, Oh 9617 228.9 13-10-1 405 10022 1,988
#17Steve Wilson, Tamarac, FL 9698 230.9 10-14-0 300 9998 1,800
18Ryan Shafer, Elmira, NY 9556 227.5 11-12-1 345 9901 1,675
19Mike Shady, Ripon, WI 9503 226.3 10-13-1 315 9818 1,550
20Bill Oakes, Lawton, OK 9560 227.6 8-16-0 240 9800 1,450
#21Greg Newtson, Grants Pass, OR 9282 221.0 14-10-0 420 9702 1,350
22John Gant, Winston-Salem, NC 9436 224.7 8-16-0 240 9676 1,250
23Andy Neuer, Milton, PA 9433 224.6 6-18-0 180 9613 1,150
24Mike Miller, Albuquerque, NM 9284 221.1 6-18-0 180 9464 1,100


Pos.Name, City/StateAmount
25Kelly Coffman, Topeka, KS$950
26Ricky Ward, N. Fort Myers, FL925
27Jeff Zaffino, Warren, PA900
28Tim Weisbrod, Cincinnati880
29Eric Forkel, Tucson, AZ865
*Brad Snell, Itasca, IL985
31Dennis Horan, San Diego850
32Butch Soper, Lake Havasu City, AZ840
#33Joe Firpo, Bedford, TX830
34Brian Himmler, Cincinnati823
 Martin Letscher, Niles, OH823
#36Robby Porter, Augusta, KS815
37Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Hts., OH810
38Don Best Jr., Cantonment, FL805
39Tom Baker, Buffalo, NY800
40Ed Richardson, Corpus Christi, TX795
41Billy Myers Jr., Temple City, CA790
42Philip Ringener, Big Spring, TX785
43Stephen Hardy, Methuen, MA780
44Chris Warren, Dallas775
45Jason Couch, Clermont, FL770
t46Mike Machuga, Erie, PA765
47Mark Turney, Corpus Christi, TX760
48Paul Koehler, Stuart, FL755
49John Handegard, Las Vegas750
50Bryon Smith, Sutherlin, OR745
51Ron Palombi Jr., Erie, PA740
52Wayne Webb, Barberton, OH735
53Robby Callan, Vacaville, CA730

*-Match play alternate. 18-game qualifying leader-Parker Bohn III, 4398. 24th place-Mike Aulby, 4046. 53rd place-Robby Callan, 3944. #-Doug Kent, Steve Wilson, John Mazza (2), Jeff Lizzi, Parker Bohn III, Roger Bowker, Joe Firpo, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Greg Newtson, Robby Porter and Ken McNeely rolled 300 games ($100 each). PRO-AM CASHERS-Ron Palombi Jr., Danny Wiseman, Mike Aulby, Eric Forkel, Bryon Smith and Tim Weisbrod ($50 each). t-Non-PBA member.