HomeSportsTalented Carmel High School golfer excels in competitions while leading varsity team

Talented Carmel High School golfer excels in competitions while leading varsity team

Published March 4, 2024

BY NICOLE MIRSKI

Since playing golf at the age of 4, CHS junior Jonathan Chen is leading the varsity boys’ golf team, while also engaging in frequent weekend tournaments throughout Northern California.

After placing third at the California Golf Northern Division competition, Chen is motivated and excited for another season. (courtesy of JONATHAN CHEN)

Coming from last year’s season where he tied for third in the California Golf Northern Division competition with a 70 on a par-72 course, Chen’s motivation to strive for improvement does not go unnoticed.

“As the number-one player, he sets the tone in his commitment to staying focused on his game,” says Ross Kroeker, the CHS boys’ golf coach and lead instructor at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy. “He often stays late to play extra holes after the other players are finished.” 

Chen had also placed first at the San Jose City Junior Championships against over 60 other contestants in July. More recently, the golfer tied for fourth with a 3-under at the Corica Park Winter Series in Alameda on Feb. 4.

Chen’s 13 years of golf experience hasn’t always been focused on the competitive aspect. After placing first at one of his earliest competitions at the Winter Holiday Classic in 2015, Chen’s dedication to the sport only continued to grow.

“I just liked playing with my dad at first, but then I became obsessed with competitive golf,” says Chen.

Jonathan Chen tied for fourth place at the Corica Park Winter Series. (courtesy of JONATHAN CHEN)

As the team captain shares his experience with the CHS varsity team, he earns respect and admiration from other members who strive to accomplish the same feats.  

“Having Jonathan on the team is like having an older brother,” says sophomore Julien Cho, a member of the varsity team. “Because I have known him since I was little, it makes it super easy to communicate with him. He is someone that I am trying to be and beat on the team, and someone to look up to when times get tough.”

With plans to continue his golf career in college, doing well in outside-of-school sponsored competitions and tournaments is crucial in order to get recruited.

“Jonathan has always been a very even-keeled player which is an ideal quality to bring to competition,” says Kroeker. “His golf skills continue to improve each year. [His] performance in these events has steadily improved and this is catching the attention of college coaches that closely monitor these events for prospective recruits.” 

With the De La Salle Invitational on March 10 and 11 and frequent league tournaments starting in early April, the team is feeling optimistic about their chances and prospects.

Chen says, “The team has potential to be good this year.”

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  • Proud to be a supporter of CHS golf, Jonathan Chen is a pride of the Padre academy/sports program.

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