Ventura County Star Features Colin Wilcox
By Bob Buttitta, Ventura County Star
During his first three years of playing golf for Pepperdine, former Camarillo High standout Colin Wilcox displayed flashes of greatness, along with periods of lackluster play.
Wilcox admited there were some tournaments where he did not finish as well as he would have liked, but he remains optimistic about the future.
"You can't plan for success; all you can do is give it your all every time out and that's what I have done," Wilcox said. "I've worked hard to get ready for this season and I feel really good about our team."
Wilcox begins his final campaign for the Waves on Feb. 17 when he and his teammates travel to Jacksonsville, Fla., to compete in the John Hayt Collegiate Tournament at Sawgrass Country Club.
At the 2007 Hayt Collegiate, Wilcox turned in one of this strongest efforts of the season, tying for eighth with a 6-over 222.
Wilcox is hoping the positive vibes from last season will carry over to this year's event.
"When you've played well on a course before, you always feel good about going back and playing there again," Wilcox said. "There's a comfort level you feel and that can give you a peace of mind."
Pepperdine coach John Geiberger would love to see Wilcox open the spring season with a big effort.
Geiberger pointed out Wilcox is coming off a solid fall season and he's hoping that will give Wilcox some momentum.
"Colin has the ingredients to be a top 75 player in college," Geiberger said. "He needs to get off to a good start, because he runs on momentum.
"He usually comes up with a big round when the team needs it. He keeps improving his short game and is due to break through."
Over the last month, Wilcox has put in a lot of hours with his swing coach, Lee Martin, director of instruction at River Ridge.
Wilcox and Martin have been working on simple fundamentals.
"I've been working really hard," Wilcox said. "I'm in the best shape I've ever been in and I'm hitting the ball real solidly.
Martin, who has worked with Wilcox for nine years, is pleased with his student's progress.
"We have been working very hard on his posture, the length of his backswing and his position at the top of his backswing," Martin said. "He is striking the ball very well. Colin has really improved his overall body strength and is hitting it longer and is finally adjusting to his added length.
"If he can stay focused and work more on the mental side of the game, he can shoot some very low scores his final semester."
While he's been working hard on his golf game, Wilcox has also been putting in a lot of time in the classroom.
The Camarillo resident is one of the rare college athletes who is on track to graduate in four years. To do so, Wilcox is taking 18 units this semester, leaving him little time for anything other than school and golf.
"I haven't gone out too much," Wilcox said. "I spend most of my time in front of the computer.
"I never really thought about redshirting. I played a lot my freshman year and every year since, so there was really no reason to think about it."
Wilcox also took classes last summer, which kept him from playing much golf over the summer. He believes the time away from the game helped his mental outlook as he headed into this season.
With this being his final college season, Wilcox is hoping he can go out with a bang, perhaps even winning an NCAA title.
The Waves played well as a team in fall, winning twice and placing high in two other events.
Wilcox is one of three seniors in the Waves lineup. They are joined by several talented freshmen.
"Our team has great balance ... and showed signs of greatness with two wins in the fall," Geiberger said. "I'm looking forward to being in contention in all of our starts this spring. For us to be a strong competitor, we're going to need Colin to be in the lineup and play to his potential."
Wilcox feels ready to do just that. His only goal is to put himself in a position to win heading into the final round of as many tournaments as possible.
As for his future beyond this season, Wilcox still has his eyes focused on making a run at a career in golf, either as a tour player or in some other capacity, perhaps coaching.
But for now, all focus is on the next few months.
"I'm taking it a day at a time and I'm focused on playing my best golf," Wilcox said.