DADE CITY, FL – Tolver Dozier was focused on finishing Monday under par by making a bunker shot on the ninth hole.
Unfortunately for the sophomore from Troy University, the ball drifted slightly to the right, and ended his day at an even 72.
The result left the standout golfer slightly disappointed, but optimistic after improving by nine strokes from the previous round.
“[Sunday] I struggled and I could’ve just laid back and sulked, but [Monday] I came out here and had a good attitude and shot a good round,” Dozier said.
His positive attitude and relentless work ethic is a major component of his continued success for the Trojans in his second season.
“Tolver is an extremely hard worker, he’s been that way since I’ve known him,’’ said assistant coach Bart Barnes. “Since he’s been at Troy, he’s gotten bigger, he’s gotten stronger, and he’s picked a little bit of distance of the tee. Always a very meticulous and analytical player, his strategy is top notch.”
The University of South Florida Invitational at Lake Jovita is Dozier’s first event since winning the ASU Fall Classic in November. Rust had to be somewhat expected, and unusually cold conditions in day one didn’t help adjusting to nearly four months since competition, either.
“Just getting back into it, it was a tough first day because it was really cold, and really windy,” Dozier said.
Troy team improved
Troy as a team improved by seven strokes in day two, moving up to a 10th-place tie in the standings. With the final round looming Tuesday, Barnes believes Dozier’s game plan will produce more positive results and help lead the Trojans to a strong finish.
“He’s very consistent and keeps himself in play a lot; hits a lot of fairways, hits a lot of greens in regulation, and just gives himself a lot of birdie opportunities. That’s one of his strengths, his ability to wear down and chip away at a course,” Barnes said.
Along with the strategic planning, Dozier’s mental approach to the game will help the Trojans’ chances as well.
“I feel my game is getting there. I think my mindset has matured a lot, from experience and not to get down on myself,” he said.
Despite his early round struggles, Dozier’s full repertoire will serve him well on Tuesday, and in the future.