Last spring, Senior Tim Crouch became the seventh moccasin to win the men’s golf individual National Championship. He is the first person to win the championship since 2001.
Crouch, who was named the 2012-2013 SSC Male Athlete of the Year, put in a lot of hard work during the season.
“You have to wake up everyday motivated,” Crouch said. “You know there are people out there playing and practicing just as hard as you are.”
The season began with Crouch instantly making a huge impact on the course. He won two regular season tournaments and finished in the top five on four occasions.
His wins came at the Matlock Invitational where he shot 16 under par and at the First Federal Southeastern Collegiate shooting six under par.
Crouch learned from his coach Doug Gordin that the journey to be a national champion will take time.
“It’s really a year long process,” Coach Gordin said. “My whole philosophy has always been to prepare him so well during the year that when we get to the post season he stays focused, relaxed, and has fun.”
Crouch was extremely focused going into the national tournament, which was held in Hershey, PA. One week before the tournament, he went home to Ohio in order to prepare for the different conditions.
“I drove home to Ohio a few days before nationals to get used to the bent grass,” Crouch said. “That really gave me an advantage to practice on bent grass rather than Bermuda grass down in Florida.”
During the practice rounds, Crouch was confident and felt like this was his year to win.
“I had a great practice round, a good session,” Crouch said. “My coach told me towards the end of the practice round that he had an epiphany. He told me that he knew I could win this tournament.”
Crouch took his coach’s words and used them to motivate him even more.
“He opened up my eyes. He made me believe that I could really win,” Crouch said.
During the tournament Crouch played extremely well and found himself in a three-way tie for first. The tie would be settled with a sudden death playoff on the back nine.
In the playoff, Crouch recorded a par while one of his competitors scored a bogey, leaving in to a two-man showdown.
On the next hole, Crouch pared again as his opponent bogeyed, giving the victory to Crouch.
Crouch’s teammates were thrilled to witness him win the national championship. Senior, Shane Convery, knew Crouch deserved the title more than anyone.
“I was so happy, so proud of Tim,” Convery said. “Nobody deserves it more than he does. He’s put in the work and has had a heck of a past year.”
Crouch looks to defend his title in 2014 but would want nothing more than to share the victory with his team.
“Goals this season are to win the national championship as a team and individually,” Crouch said. “I want to get a national championship for my team, not just myself.”