Since that day when Bob Learn, Jr. tied or broke most of the PBA’s TV scoring records for an individual and led the five-member field to still other record-breaking performances, BTM has had numerous requests for information about him. In a single show, Bob shot 300 (worth $100,000), set all-time TV records, and vaulted to the top of the season money list. In the following interview, he talks about Erie and about other aspects of his very successful career.
(Please note that our questions appear in bold italics and Bob’s answers appear in standard typeface.)
How do you approach a situation like Erie where you know from the get-go that if you don’t strike every shot, you’re out?
People want to accomplish things. When they get the chance, they’re afraid to accomplish them. Fear sets in and they get nervous and they choke. When that happens, you’re not allowing yourself to get things done that you want to do. When I’m in that situation, I think, “It’s either me or him. Who do I want it to be?” Obviously I want to win so I’m going to go out there and just do it. That’s the frame of mind I have when I’m in that position. It’s up to me. I want it to happen so why be afraid of it?
What is the difference between how you mentally approach a high-scoring tournament and a grind-out?
It’s all confidence, knowing that you have the ability in that situation to take control. The more you’re there, the more confident you become. I’ve been on tour long enough and I’ve seen enough. You have to realize that you’re not going to go out and strike like crazy on a tough condition. You just need to fill the frames. A lot of times I’ll look for a reaction that would not seem like the perfect reaction but it’s a reaction I can get to the hole with and stay clean.
I’m confident that I’m one of the better spare shooters on tour. If I leave spares, I’m going to make them. So right from the beginning I say, OK, I’m going to get a ball that I can get to the pocket. It may not be the best reaction but I’m going to fill the frames.
Dave Husted is one of the best at it. He may not always look like he has a great reaction. He may leave a lot of flat tens, but he makes those flat tens. With a great reaction on that condition, if you cut one off a little bit, its a big four. Then you end up ...
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