July 15, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE –Marcelo Rozo left quite a legacy in his two years at John A. Logan College (2009-2010). He was the driving force in leading the Volunteers golf team to its first national championship in ’09 at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala.

A native of Bogota, Columbia in South America, Rozo followed up with an individual title a year later as a sophomore when the Vols took second at the national tournament in Mesa, Ariz.

Rozo then transferred from Logan to Lynn University in Florida, finishing his collegiate career in the spring of 2012. He has spent the last year and a half as full-time member of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, where he claimed his first win in the Visa Open de Argentina last December with a second-round course record of 64. Rozo went on to win the tournament by two strokes in a field that included two-time major winner Angel Cabrera.

The now 24-year-old Rozo notched a second tour win this past March at the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open, eagling the second playoff hole in a seven-way playoff. The win moved him to a career high ranking of 414th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Today, he is the top-ranked player on the PGA Latin-American Tour.

Logan veteran head coach Tom Ferris recruited Rozo through a contact familiar with the South American talent pool.

“I have coached some outstanding players over the years, but Marcelo is simply the best player I have ever had the pleasure of coaching here at John A. Logan College,” Ferris said. “He has a great chance to play on the PGA Tour in the not-too-distant future.”

Ferris said Rozo beat out 125 players to claim the top ranking on the Latino tour.

“It’s a very big deal to get the ranking and to beat out a pro like Angel Cabrera is quite impressive,” he said. “Cabrera has won the U.S. Open and the Masters.”

While at Logan, Rozo was a two-time NJCAA and Ping All-American. He was the first JUCO player to be nominated for the Palmer Cup, a prestigious team comprised of all the colleges in the United States, not just junior colleges.

Rozo offered his take on the top ranking.

“It’s really special to me. It means that all the work and hours that I have put into my golf game throughout my entire life are paying off. I am proud of my accomplishments and believe I have what it takes to be a top player at the professional level.”

Rozo was quick to praise his support team that includes his brother, Sebastian, who serves as his manager; other family members and friends; and various sponsors such as Pacific Rubiales, Argos, Titleist and Omega.

Rozo said his game has improved considerably since he left Logan in 2010.

“My mental approach to the game is much stronger and I would like to credit Coach Ferris for helping me along the way. My experience with him and the college were keys to my success today. When I first arrived in Illinois, I didn’t know how to play in such difficult conditions like the cold weather, rain and wind. I also developed workout and travel routines around my studies, which helped me grow as a person.”

Rozo said he often misses his college days.

“There are times when I wish I could go back there to be honest,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much fun and how many good experiences I had during those two short years at Logan. The people at Logan were so good to me. I miss the practice sessions and playing in tournaments all over the United States with some great teammates. And the daily talks I had with coach each morning before I went to class were quite enjoyable, too.”

Rozo said he is excited about his professional future, which he hopes will soon include entry to the PGA Tour.

“I believe I’ve done a great job these first two years as a pro,” he said. “I feel like I’m close to where I want to be. But it’s a process. I just have to stay patient and focus on the present – take it one day at a time, following the plan for every tournament I play, every training session and so on. I am confident that I will eventually reach my destination…hopefully sooner than later.”