Sometimes colleges find the talent. Every so often the talent finds the college.
Jarrod Johnson teed off in the first round of the Press Thornton Future Masters with a cardinal print golf shirt and Troy’s “Power T” logo. He also wore a gray Trojan golf hat with the “Power T.”
Johnson is committed to play for the Trojans next year. The unusual part to the story is he is from Tucson, Ariz., and didn’t know much about Troy until he started playing in the Future Masters several years ago.
“I played here when I was little,” Johnson explained. “This is my fourth time coming here. My coach, I actually call him my big brother, Brady Gregor – he coaches High Point University – he told me about Troy University, to go up there and look at it.”
He and his mother, Cyndi Johnson, stopped at Troy on their way back to Tucson after that first Future Masters.
“Ever since then, it’s kind of stuck with me,” Johnson said. “I really enjoyed it. I like all the facilities there. I like the teammates I’m going to have.”
“He just fell in the love with the place. That was it,” Cyndi Johnson said. “We’ve been to at least a dozen college visits. It always goes back to Troy.”
While Matt Terry was Troy’s head coach at that time, one of the first people he met at Troy was then-women’s golf coach Bart Barnes – who took over the men’s program when Terry left for Louisiana Tech in 2017.
That didn’t quell Johnson’s interest in Troy. In fact, Barnes watched him play at the Future Masters last year.
“Me and him just kind of clicked since Day 1,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a really good relationship from then on.”
Johnson laughs at the blank faces back in Tucson when he tells them he’s going to play college golf at Troy.
“They don’t know where Troy is, honestly, when I tell them,” Johnson said. “I keep telling them, ‘Guys, Troy’s football team gets eight wins or above every year.’
“We have six holes on campus. In the middle of the night, if I can’t sleep at night I can go down there and hit golf balls. I know being from Arizona it’s a little different, but I didn’t grow up fully in Arizona. I grew up in a small town, Kalispell, Montana. It’s a town of about 15,000 people. Just feel more comfortable at Troy.”
Cyndi, too, supports her son’s college choice.
“Wherever he’s comfortable,” she said. “He’s worked hard to get where he’s at. We actually tested Troy last year with our daughter – and she loved it. He’s been out here numerous times.
“I raised my kids, basically, the Southern way because I’m from south Florida. ‘Please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ go a long way in our family. That’s the way they like to be.”
Johnson had a tough start to his final Future Masters. He shot a 74 on Thursday.
“I couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “I caught a mud ball on second hole and hit it OB. Couple unlucky breaks on the front. Tomorrow I can play a lot better. I know I can.”