MINOOKA — The general consensus around Minooka Community High School the past couple of weeks was that this was the year that Jason Chobar was finally going to make it down to the state boys golf tournament. As a sophomore, Chobar barely missed qualifying for state, so the next step in the junior’s career was reaching the state level.
That vision became a reality this past Monday, as Chobar shot a 78 at the sectional tournament, finishing tied for sixth and qualifying for the state tournament Friday at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
“The sectional was one of the toughest golf courses I’ve ever played,” Chobar said. “Fortunately I was able to shoot 78. I started out rough with a triple bogey, but I was able to stay strong. I birdied the last couple of holes, including the toughest one of the course, which really helped me qualify.”
It's been a pretty consistent season for Chobar, who took over the leadership role of the golf team this season. Chobar was Minooka’s No. 1 guy, and he led them to a perfect Southwest Prairie Conference record of 7-0. They finished second in the conference, however, as Plainfield North beat them in conference tournament at the end of the year. Still, Chobar earned All-Conference for his efforts.
“It has been great seeing Chobar succeed this year as a junior. I’ve talked to several people about it through the entire year and many people are always quick to say, ‘If it doesn’t happen this year, he’s still got next year,’” head coach Brian Petrovic said. “But I’ve been quick to point out that with that mentality, very soon you run out of years. You’ve got to make it happen, and there’s no time like the present.”
After a successful regular season, Chobar carried his success to the postseason, getting through both the regional and the sectional to reach the state finals this weekend in Bloomington. Chobar heads down Thursday for a practice round before playing both Friday and Saturday in the tournament.
“As long as I can figure out the conditions and figure out the wind type in that practice round as well as everything else with my game, I’ll be fine,” Chobar said.
Realizing in the offseason that he might be heading down to play at state in October, Chobar took the liberty of playing the course three times in the offseason. This will surely aid the junior this weekend as he vies for a state title.
“The course is very challenging,” Chobar said. “There are a lot of blind tee shots, which I think I’ll have an advantage over the other golfers because I’ve played the course three times now. You need to pick a spot and know what club to hit, because water comes into play sometimes.”
With Chobar playing some of his best golf all year, Petrovic is very confident in Chobar’s chances to do well this weekend.
“I have to say that I am very confident that Jason will play well at the state tournament,” Petrovic said. “He’s definitely been trending in the right direction. Some putts are dropping that didn’t drop before, and the next thing you know, your score better reflects the golf game you feel you’re portraying out on the course.”
Chobar won’t be heading down alone. Along with coach Petrovic going with him, Chobar’s dad will also be there — someone the junior likes having around.
“I know for a fact my dad will be going down there with me,” Chobar said. “I like having him with me because we like to talk about the round together. What I’m doing right, what I need to fix.Its funny because I could be shooting one of the best rounds ever and we’d still be talking about the things I did wrong. He’s great to be around.”