Tucsonan in search of 'average man's triple crown'

2014-07-13T21:30:00Z Tucsonan in search of 'average man's triple crown'By Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It doesn’t take a Google search to find out how rare it is.

But, let’s do it anyway.

“Who has hit a hole-in-one and bowled a perfect game?”

Bowling a perfect 300 is hard — that is, 12 strikes in a row in a single game. Hitting a golf ace is even harder.

The odds? For bowling, it’s 11,500 to 1 For golf, 45,000 to 1.

So, Google machine, who’s done it?

In November, there was a 48-year old mailman from Sturtevant, Wisconsin, that did it. Ten years earlier, there was a 74-year-old retired plumber that accomplished the feat in a 24-hour span.

Two other people supposedly did it within one week, another had a 40-year gap.

A November article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel claimed there are 12 people known to have accomplished the feat, although many more are likely unreported.

Well, we have another one to report. And he’s a Tucsonan.

He’s 35 years old, a UA grad, a father of two and a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual.

Last week, he recorded the ace. Five years earlier, he bowled the perfect game.

Almost immediately, Jason Robinson started thinking about the next leg of what he’s calling the “Average Man’s Triple Crown.”

“I’d come up, like, a foot away from a hole-in-one at one point,” Robinson said, “and at one point I was like, ‘Gosh, what if I bowled a 300, and hit a hole-in-one, what would be the third of equal skill and luck?’ ”

There are a few options, ideas he has. But before looking ahead, let’s look back at what he’s, amazingly, already done.

First the bowling game.

He hit the 300-mark on Jan. 30, 2009, at Lucky Strike Bowl, but his journey to that started much earlier. Robinson bowled for most of his life, taking it particularly seriously when he was at the UA, where he played for the Wildcats traveling club team, facing schools like Weber State, Oregon and Nebraska.

To that point, the closest he came to the perfect game was in 2002, during a “drunken bowl” with a few of his friends. On one of his last bowls, Robinson just missed the No. 10 pin, and scored a 299. So close … for so long.

Finally, in 2009, he did it.

Bowling with co-workers, he opened with six straight strikes. By the seventh, his group started getting loud. By the eighth, the people in the lane next to them stopped bowling to watch. At nine, people from four lanes down came by.

“By the time I’m in the 10th frame,” he said, “half the house is standing behind me.”

After the second strike in the 10th, the center went silent. Imagine a silent baseball stadium as a pitcher tries to finish a no-hit bid by retiring the last batter.

“I’ve got the ball, I do the approach, I let it go,” he said. “It feels good, flush in the pocket, all the pins go down. I literally just fell back on the approach and all the guys run up and tackle me.

“It was like they’re all running out of the dugout, chasing down the pitcher.”

Fast forward to 2014, the day after Independence Day.

Robinson’s brother was in town, and they wanted to golf. Logically, on a whim, they knew they’d have to golf early. So their tee time was 6:15 a.m. at Dorado Golf Course.

Nobody was around, so they took their time, had a few drinks. Eventually, they made it to hole No. 18, and Robinson went first.

“I can’t tell you how many times I hit the same hole, with the same exact club (3-iron), and I’d drop it in the neighborhood backyard somewhere,” he said. “I’ve been all over the place.”

It felt like a “perfect shot,” he said, and hit the green about 7 feet from the hole, rolled a little, and then disappeared.

“From 200 yards away you never know if it’s hiding or something like that,” he said, “but I go, ‘I think it dropped in the hole,’ and I start pacing back and forth.”

His brother hit a “pretty good” shot, too. Then, they drove the cart over to the green.

“I’m kind of like walking fast, almost like a jog,” Robinson said, “and it hit the pin, and was hovering. It was in the hole, right up against the pin.”

He saw that, and launched into the air. He jumped for exuberant joy. People teeing off at hole No. 1 and others putting nearby looked on and laughed.

He completed the second leg of his still-in-progress “Average Man’s Triple Crown”.

“The way I would probably describe it is,” Robinson said, “that the 300 felt like I earned a Ph.D. I worked hard, and it finally lined up and I got it. The hole-in-one felt like I got a car for my birthday.”

So, what’s leg three?

Robinson hasn’t come up with it yet. Some ideas he had: maybe win the world series of poker, or qualify for the Boston or New York marathons.

How about catching a foul ball, or a home run, at a major-league game?

Who knows what the third will be, but Robinson is just happy he got the first two.

“Finally, I got it,” he said, “and no one can take it away.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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