Chrobak confident heading into state golf tourney
KEYSTONE – On Friday afternoon, Summit High School senior Jason Chrobak spent several hours at the Keystone River Course practicing his golf swing for the upcoming Class 4A state tournament.The two-day tournament begins on Monday at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, and Chrobak has been diligently practicing every moment the weather has allowed him to this week. “Even in the bad weather,” said head coach Chris Saunders. “We’re just doing normal practices, not really doing anything differently.” Chrobak qualified for the tournament during the 4A Metro-West Region Tournament on Sept. 20, when he fired an even 72 at the West Woods Golf Course in Arvada to finish fourth overall. As he hit ball after ball into the deepest reaches of the River Course’s driving range on Friday, personal coach Mike Rawles watched his swing and helped him adjust it closer to perfection.Occasionally the advice led to banter between the two. Saunders just looked on and laughed as the teenager revealed – at Rawles’ prodding – that he likes Jimi Hendrix and thinks Brittany Spears is attractive.
The atmosphere around the trio of golfers was calm and relaxed, which is exactly how Chrobak wants it. This is his second trip to the state tournament, and Chrobak is ready to take on this year’s edition with a poise he lacked last year, despite coming into that tournament as the first Summit High School player to ever win the regional tournament. “I’ve gained the knowledge of how costly one mistake can be,” he said. “Last year I was a little nervous and I made one mistake, and I snowballed from there.” Chrobak fell 13 strokes out of the lead on the first day last year and never recovered.A year later, his game is more polished, thanks in part to Rawles.”He’s the one who has helped me through the middle and the last part of the season,” Chrobak said. “He’s really honed my game in.” That, in turn, has led to more confidence for the young golfer, and he’s ready to take that confidence to the state tournament.
The competition will be fierce, with 84 of the states’ best golfers heading out onto the par-71, 6888-yard course between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. In his own pairing, Chrobak will play with Kyle Logan of Centaurus. A star of the Skyline League, Logan fired a 4-under 67 at the Riverdale Golf Course on Sept. 14.Immediately in front of the two will be Chrobak’s Jeffco rivals Brady Garr of Ralston Valley and Chase Chaldekas of Evergreen. Chaldekas stormed to a 4-under 68 at West Woods on Sept. 20 to win the regional tournament, leading the Cougars to a second-place finish behind Mullen. Garr, meanwhile, finished second in that tournament with a 1-under 71, one stroke ahead of Chrobak. Chrobak isn’t intimidated by having the Jeffco players in front of him. If anything, he’s looking forward to it as the trio are close friends after playing together in many Jeffco matches in recent years.”I think it will be a lot more relaxed,” Chrobak said. “It’ll be like a regular old Jeffco match. On the first tee everyone will be real comfortable and joking around.”
Chrobak has never played at the Country Club, but he and Saunders are arriving a day early to play a practice round.”We’ll know more after we play it Sunday,” Saunders said. “It’s a little longer than what the kids have been playing (this year), but the par 3s are short, which should be an advantage.” The tournament begins for Chrobak on the back nine at 8:39 a.m., when he tees off from the par-4 10th hole. From there it’s one stroke at a time until he gets through the front nine and calls it a day.”I never, ever think about the outcome – that’s pretty much bad luck,” he said. “I just concentrate on each shot. I’ve watched a couple of amateur and pro tournaments, and they just take their time and are in the moment, and I want to be in the moment.” Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at email@example.com.
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