Colin Troxler will soon be headed to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to play Division I golf—and he’ll do it as a reigning national champion. The Mississippi Gulf Coast star and former Hahnville High School standout captured the individual National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II national championship last week at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Troxler shot -2 overall and a total score of 282 over the four day tournament. He was the only player of all 137 competitors there who shot under par for the tournament, winning by four strokes over Southeast’s Noah Hofman (+2, 286).
He admitted there were some mixed emotions, as his MGC team came up just short of winning the team championship, taking second to Mesa by five strokes, +19 to +24. It was still the top finish in MCG history.
“It’s both a good and a sad feeling, knowing we were so close to winning the whole thing (as a team),” Troxler said. “But it was a great feeling (to win the individual crown). My dad was there, and I know it was a great feeling for him and also for my coach, because this was the first time he’s had someone win a national championship.”
It’s the fourth straight season the Bulldogs have finished in the top four at the national tournament. Gulf Coast came into the tournament ranked sixth and led after the first three rounds.
Troxler had his first round over par, but built enough cushion after three rounds under par.
He said that in the midst of the third round, he had a good idea he was leading the pack — and that he was locked in.
“At that point, it wasn’t as much me aiming for the pin but just hitting the fairway,” he said. “With about 27 holes left, we’re just gonna cruise … the way the course was designed and way I hit shots, my coach felt it set up great for me.”
He said a major element to the win came on the putting green, where he was using a new putter tailor-made for him that he’d begun using about two weeks ago.
“Everything just seemed to click,” he said. “We read perfect putts and everything seemed to fall. It was a bigger putter and helped the ball roll more consistently.
It was the second tournament win at the collegiate level for the sophomore, it coming just the right time.
His first tourney win came at the Carey Collegiate Classic in Hattiesburg in late March. Troxler has finished as runner-up at six other tournaments since his freshman season began last year.
Now, Troxler sets his sights on ULL.
“Coach (Theo Sliman of ULL) called me right after I finished my round,” Troxler said. “We honestly both can’t wait for me to be up there and hopefully continue this momentum up there.”
He couldn’t have finished his run at Mississippi Gulf Coast on any higher of a note.