Overcoming a back injury suffered in qualifying, Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., won the PBA50 Pasco County Suncoast Open Benefiting Wounded Warriors Wednesday at Lane Glo Bowl for his second career PBA50 Tour title.
In the opening tournament of the 2013 PBA50 Tour (formerly Senior Tour) season, Learn defeated PBA Hall of Famer Wayne Webb of Columbus, Ohio, 226-206, in the championship match.
Learn, also a five-time winner on the PBA Tour, injured his back when he slipped slightly on his approach during the fourth frame of the first game of Tuesday’s second round of qualifying which caused a sprain in his lower back. He managed to struggle through the rest of the round but didn’t know how long he would last.
With the help of Gulf Coast Spinal Center, one of the tournament’s sponsors, Learn was able get treatment on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning to at least make an effort to bowl in Wednesday’s match play.
“I thought I might have to withdraw after a couple games in the second round of qualifying but I managed to struggle through it,” said the 51-year-old Learn. “The treatment helped to the point where I felt good enough to at least start match play but I had no idea how far I could go after that. The expectation was not to win but maybe make it through a match or two.
“I felt about 20 percent yesterday but felt about 80 percent today,” said Learn, who had to win five matches to get to the championship match. “I was actually getting better as the day went on and was probably in my best shape when I had some of my toughest matches toward the end of the day.”
One of those matches was the semifinal where Learn defeated Hall of Famer and reigning PBA50 Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., 229-216, to advance to the championship match.
Webb, who was trying to win his sixth PBA50 Tour title, defeated Tim Kauble of Marion, Ohio, in the other semifinal match, 245-206.
Woman amateur standout Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, who qualified third, was eliminated in the Round of 16, losing to Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colo., 3 games to 1. The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer was making a bid to become the first woman to win a PBA50 Tour tournament.
The next stop for the PBA50 Tour will be The Villages, Fla., for the PBA50 Sun Bowl In The Villages presented by Hammer April 20-23. PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame will once again provide start-to-finish coverage of the Sun Bowl In The Villages. For subscription and schedule information visit the pba.com homepage and click on the Xtra Frame logo.
PBA50 PASCO COUNTY SUNCOAST OPEN BENEFITING WOUNDED WARRIORS
Lane Glo Bowl, New Port Richey, Fla., Wednesday
Bob Learn Jr. , Erie, Pa. ($7,500) def. Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio ($4,000), 226-206.
Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,500)
Learn def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 229-216.
Webb def. Tim Kauble, Marion, Ohio, 245-206.
Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $1,700)
W.R. Williams def. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2-0.
Learn def. Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 2-0.
Kauble def. Bo Goergen, Sanford, Mich., 2-0.
Webb def. Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 2-0.
Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,300)
Monacelli def. Peter Knopp, Germany, 3-2.
W.R. Williams def. Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 3-0.
Learn def. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Township, Mich., 3-0.
Kauble def. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3-2.
Dias def. a-Lucy Sandelin, Tampa, Fla., 3-1.
Goergen def. Tom Baker, King, N.C., 3-1.
Parks def. Dave Bernhardt, Romeo, Mich., 3-1.
Webb def. Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 3-1.
Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,150)
W.R. Williams def. Steve Neff, Homosassa Springs, Fla., 3-0.
Knopp def. Dennis Rakauskas, Apopka, Fla., 3-2.
Learn def. John Shreve, Elyria, Ohio, 3-2.
Bernhardt def. Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 3-1.
Kauble def. Johnny Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 3-1.
Goergen def. Bob Brady, Santa Monica, Calif., 3-0.
Dias def. Widmar Vargas, Riverview, Fla., 3-0.
Webb def. a-Larry Barwick, Wauchula, Fla., 3-2.
Round of 32 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $1,025)
Neff def. Guppy Troup Taylorsville, N.C, 2-0.
Rakauskus def. Ron Mohr, Eagle, River, Alaska, 2-0.
Learn def. Marc Lineberry, Camanche, Iowa, 2-0.
Bernhardt def. Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 2-1.
Kauble def. Bill Peters, Dayton, Ohio, 2-0.
Brady def. Nick Morgan, Sacramento, Calif., 2-0.
Dias def. Robert Harvey, Boise, Idaho, 2-0.
a-Barwick def. Joel Carlson, Omaha, Neb., 2-0.
Round of 40 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $950)
Troup def. Dale Eagle, Tavares, Fla., 2-0.
Rakauskas def. Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 2-0.
Lineberry def. Mike Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, 2-1.
Ferraro def. Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 2-0.
Peters def. Joe Scarborough, Mars Hill, N.C., 2-1.
Brady def. Doug O’Bryant, Jasper, Ga., 2-0.
Harvey def. Tom Howison, Chillicothe, Ohio, 2-0.
a-Barwick def. Todd Kjell, Roscoe, Ill., 2-0