Some championships are meaningful because of the accomplishment of fending off great competition.
Other titles have meaning that go well beyond simply winning on the field of battle.
On a hot and muggy Monday, July 25th, the 2016 First National Bank Junior Golf Tour came to a close, and with it a number of champions were crowned.
When the last putt had dropped, Garaway High School sophomore Jocelyn Troyer captured the girls’ 13-15 division crown, turning in a 41. It was not Troyer’s lowest score on the summer tour, but on a tough Union Country Club golf course, it was enough to earn her the title.
It was a title that she will remember, not because of the victory, but because of what she had to go through to achieve it.
After eight tour stops throughout the summer, of which Troyer won four times, it all came down to the final foray into the championship, where she faced some stiff competition from some challengers she knew well.
Her toughest challengers were Alea Griffith, and Marie Stufflebean, two players who had jostled with her for titles throughout the summer.
In the end, Troyer’s 41 was two shots ahead of Griffith’s 43, while Stufflebean and Jordan Van Meter tied for third with 44s.
Troyer started her round with some early struggles, but she said that made her even more determined to put together a run of solid holes.
On the third hole, she had to punch out of a hazard after a wayward drive, but managed to save par, gaining a one shot lead.
She never relinquished that edge the rest of the way, building a solid cushion.
The par-5 fifth led to a birdie when she played the hole flawlessly, and she said she knew where she was, and who was giving chase.
“I knew I had to stay on top of things,” said Troyer.
She maintained the lead, and entered the final hole with a three-shot cushion. After hitting a solid drive, she dumped her approach shot into the green-side sand trap.
“I thought, ‘Great, now I have to play a sand shot,’” said Troyer.
She was unfazed, knocking her shot up close and making her putt.
“I knew then that I had won,” said Troyer.
While her achievement was grand on any level, what made it even more impressive was the way Troyer had to battle back from a serious injury this spring.
During her freshman softball campaign for the Lady Pirates, Troyer was hit in the temple with a line drive, and suffered a major brain injury.
She worked incredibly hard to come back, and although her softball season was lost, she was determined to move past her injury as quickly and smoothly as possible. That meant dedicating herself to golf, something she did as soon as she was green-lit to return to the game by doctors.
“I don’t think I really thought this kind of success would be possible so soon after the injury,” said Troyer. “I knew I really had to bust my butt to get back to the top. As soon as I knew I couldn’t play softball, I was thinking I had to work that much harder on golf when the time came that the doctors cleared me.”
Her dedication to her craft paid off in the FNB Junior Golf Tour championship. While the title helped give her even more confidence in her game, the Garaway sophomore said she isn’t letting anything go to her head, having gone through the ordeal she went through to get back.
“I don’t want to be too bold,” said Troyer. “I don’t want to think that I’m bigger or better than anyone else. That is not good sportsmanship, and that isn’t who I want to be. I just want to keep working and getting better. This was a lot of fun.”
Troyer said she was very focused on winning more tournaments this summer, but more importantly, she was focused on simply improving her game. She understands that in the long run, the FNB championship is simply a step along the way to becoming the golfer she wants to be.
“I’m really focused on working hard and just improving my game so I can help us get better as a team,” said Troyer, referring to her Lady Pirates team that went to state last season. “It’s all about just making myself better.”
Jocelyn Troyer’s young career took a huge leap when she captured the National City Bank Junior Championship 13-15 division. The Garaway sophomore fired a 41 at Union Country Club to win the championship round.