NORMAL – Minooka didn’t bring home the hardware it sought from Tuesday’s Class 3A Boys Golf Regional at Ironwood. In fact, the Indians did not advance as a team.
What the Indians were forced to settle for was a fairly nice consolation prize. Four Minooka golfers – Jason Chobar, Kent Hudson, Kyle Sheppard and Dan Anfield – qualified as individuals for the Pekin Sectional. The other two Minooka entrants, Ryan Johnson and Noah Lindmark, both carded 80s and missed the cut by a stroke.
It was not quite as close between the Indians and the team cut, though their 312 was the lowest by a nonqualifier. Pekin’s third-place score of 306 secured the final sectional berth.
“That’s probably going to be the hardest thing today is just having two guys, two really good players, that their seasons are over and just barely missed it,” Minooka coach Brian Petrovic said. “It’s difficult, but at the same time, we gotta just look forward to our next challenge.”
Chobar’s 77 score was the fourth-lowest by an individual not affiliated with a qualifying team and tied for the ninth-lowest overall. He shot a 37 on the front nine and a 40 on the back.
“I would have liked to done better for the team, so we could get out as a team, but it got the job done for myself, going onto the next level, and that’s the main goal,” Chobar said.
Sheppard, a junior, advances to sectionals for the first time in his career. He just missed out in 2012, he said, but made the cut in 2013 after carding 39s on both nines.
“I kinda struggled a little bit to start off with, but I had a big birdie on 18 to kinda secure my spot heading into Pekin, he said. “I thought I could have played a lot better, missed some big putts out there, but kinda pulled together at the end.”
Hudson shot a 37 on the front nine, but a double-bogey on 10 helped doom him to a 41 on the back.
“I got off to a good start, birdying my second hole, made a long putt, but kind of fell apart on the back nine,” Hudson said. “I knew that I was playing better than most of my team, and I kind of let them down on the back nine, but still got it done.”
Anfield is the lone freshman to advance as an individual, though four freshmen played Tuesday as members of the top three teams. He said he expected to get this far from the beginning of the season.
“I am happy to be advancing. I played pretty well,” Anfield said. “The back nine was a good stretch for me, because I had seven pars and only two bogeys, but then the front nine I think I had about three doubles.”