DUBLIN, Ohio - Former Florida Southern two-time All-American and two-time Division II individual National Champion has received an exemption from the Captain's Club Committee to play in this year's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. The Memorial Tournament will be held here from June 4-7 at the world-renowned Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Crouch, who lives 35 miles away from Muirfield Village in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and has been attending the Memorial Tournament since he was 8 years old, but has never played the course, is excited about his this chance to play in his first PGA event.
"Growing up, watching the tournament on television and being able to drive 35 miles down the road to watch the tournament and watching the guys on the range, and then going back to the range at our course in Mount Vernon to implement things I learned, and now being a part of the tournament and making it this far means the world to me," Crouch said. "It's my PGA debut and I'm really excited to be a part of this outstanding event."
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The tournament, which was founded and hosted by Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: the honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world's best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children's Hospital and numerous other local organizations.
Among some of the early committments to play in this year's Memorial are 2015 Masters champion Jordan Speith, five-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods and 2010 Memorial champion Justin Rose. Hideki Matsuyama won last year's Memorial Championship by shooting a 275 for 72 holes. Kevin Na was second and Bubba Watson was third last year.
Crouch's hometown of Mount Vernon is just about an hour's drive from Muirfield Village. His family has owned and operated Hiawatha Golf Club since 1964.
"I'm sure that the whole city of Mount Vernon will be out there watching him play in the Memorial," said Florida Southern head coach Doug Gordin, who like Crouch, is also an Ohio native. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Tim and it also a great moment for Florida Southern College and the Florida Southern men's golf program."
One of the biggest issues Crouch will have to deal with in playing in the Memorial Tournament is his jitters, but he has received advice on how to handle those jitters from Lakeland native and Champions Tour pro Brad Bryant.
"He (Brad) has given me a couple of things to really focus on and try to eliminate all the outside distractions so I can play my own game and hopefully play some good golf," said Crouch, who captured back-to-back individual Division II national championships in 2013 and 2014.
Crouch, who is playing and practicing this summer at Hiawatha Golf Club, a course his family has owned and operated since 1964, is currently pursuing a professional career and is playing on mini-tours throughout the country.
The former Moccasin golfer, who along with being a two-time All-American and a two-time individual national champion, was also named a two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection and is one of eight Mocs in school history to have won an individual national championship. In fact, he is one of just three Division II golfers all-time to win back-to-back individual national title and one of four to win multiple national championships.
He comes into the Memorial Tournament playing some very good golf as he recently made it through the first stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open last week at Kinsdale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio and will compete in the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier one day following the final round of the Memorial on June 8 in Columbus, Ohio.
Despite playing in his first-ever PGA Tour event at the Memorial, Crouch does have experience playing on the national stage as he has competed in four USGA National Championships and also played in several prestigious national amateur championship events.
"I have had the chance to play in several major golf events around the country, so I have some experience competing on the big stage," Crouch added.
Crouch has played in the U.S. Amateur twice, the U.S. Public Links Championship and the U.S. Junior Amateur.
In addition, he also played against an elite field of amateur golfers during the summers while playing for Florida Southern, including posting Top 10 finishes at both the Porter Cup and the Sunnehanna Amateur.
"Those events helped me mentally, knowing I could play with the best players in the world," said Crouch, who was a two-time winner of the SSC Male Athlete of the Year Award while competing for the Mocs.
Click here for the Memorial Tournament official website