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#TOURBound: Trace Crowe leans on family support, mental resilience to achieve PGA TOUR dream

4 Min Read



Earns TOUR card at Q-School after entering the year with conditional Korn Ferry Tour status

    Written by Amanda Cashman

    In a sport where success often hinges upon resources and accessibility, beyond the traditional markers ranging from one’s access to (often pricey) golf courses and whether you can hand-craft a wedge to your precise specifications, Trace Crowe proved that two things are just as pivotal on the road to success: family support and inner strength.

    These two intangibles led him to the PGA TOUR.

    “I grew up without a lot,” Crowe said after his final round at PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry’s Final Stage, where he closed with a 3-under 67 to finish solo second and secure his first PGA TOUR card, offered for the first time since 2012 to the top five finishers (and ties) at Final Stage. “Never played any AJGA events or anything … Just not having the resources like a lot of these people have out here and just growing up where I grew up. Just a lot of life … it’s been hard.”

    Crowe, 27, hails from Greenville, South Carolina; he grew up playing at Smithsfield Country Club in nearby Easley with his buddies and was encouraged to compete in local events by his father, Dale Crowe, where he fell in love with the sport. His father became a cornerstone in his golf journey; he injured his back before Crowe was born and began working part-time, dedicating his spare hours to helping Crowe’s budding golf career.

    “We didn’t have a lot and he just poured his heart and soul into my golf to get here, and I’m just so happy he can be here today to experience this with me,” Crowe said of his father, who traveled to northeast Florida to watch Crowe compete at Q-School and earn his first PGA TOUR card.

    Trace Crowe celebrates PGA TOUR card at Q-School with family, friends

    The Auburn alum began the year with conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour and wasn’t scheduled to play in the HomeTown Lenders Championship in April, but fog delayed the start until Friday, causing Chris Baker to withdraw and Crowe to take his place as the last man in the field. Crowe’s 11th-place finish was the catalyst for the rest of his season, providing him extra starts, and three months later, he won the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank.

    And the best part of his game?

    “I’d have to think probably around the greens,” Crowe said. “And just mentally. I've always had a chip on my shoulder growing up, where I grew up, and just a lot of things in life just having to battle.”

    Crowe’s resilience defined this season – he missed seven cuts in his first 10 events, but with his breakthrough win at the NV5 Invitational and coming off the strength of back-to-back top-10 finishes, he entered the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance at No. 33 on the Points List (the top 30 finishers at the end of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship earned PGA TOUR cards). After struggling on the weekend, carding 76-74 in his final two rounds, he narrowly missed the top 30, allowing his mental resilience to shine once again at Final Stage of Q-School. Crowe injured his ankle during a Wednesday practice round and could hardly walk but was determined to see the week through, even though anything short of a top-five finish wouldn’t improve his status for next season.

    “Let’s not miss out on this again,” Crowe said, vowing to not let his emotions get the best of him once again. Mission achieved; he carded a bogey-free front nine during the final round on Monday and made four birdies on the back to finish solo second at 11 under. He was one of just four players in the field to card all four rounds in the 60s.

    “You’re going to make me cry right now. We did it, dude. This is what I’ve been dreaming of doing my whole life,” Crowe said when asked what he would tell his younger, 12- or 13-year-old self. The #TOURBound moment was emotional for the entire family – after the final round, Crowe and his parents FaceTimed his fiancée, Molly, who expressed unfettered jubilation alongside family and friends.

    Crowe’s path to the PGA TOUR was paved not with the luxuries of a well-funded golf upbringing, but rather with the steadfast support and sacrifice from his family and his relentless pursuit of his dreams in the face of adversity. Making the most of what he was given at every stage, Crowe turned uncertainty into certainty. He converted his conditional Korn Ferry Tour status into a TOUR card, and with the support of his family behind him, he will begin the 2024 season as a rookie on the PGA TOUR.

    Amanda Cashman is on staff at the PGA TOUR. She is a USC Trojan whose life missions include scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef and attending every major music festival in the world.

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