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Good deed sparks Trace Crowe to 54-hole lead at NV5 Invitational

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Good deed sparks Trace Crowe to 54-hole lead at NV5 Invitational

    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    GLENVIEW, Illinois -- Good deeds have a way of circling back around. This week’s NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank is proof positive. Look no further than Trace Crowe.

    On his second hole of the second round, first-round leader Ryan McCormick realized he had no backup golf balls of the correct model, leading to the Korn Ferry Tour rules staff scrambling across the property to assist. Trace Crowe, on the range at the time, saved the day, providing 2019 Titleist Pro V1s that were shuttled to McCormick.

    Crowe proceeded to card a second-round 64 to move within one stroke of the lead, which he followed with a sizzling 8-under 63 in Saturday’s third round at The Glen Club.

    Crowe, 26, leads the NV5 Invitational into the final round at 20-under par -- one stroke ahead of McCormick.

    The story, in a way, writes itself.

    “It feels great,” Crowe said of his first 54-hole lead on the Korn Ferry Tour. “Just to be in this position, to have a chance to win on Sunday … I’m excited. This is what you work for.

    Trace Crowe leads by 1 shot at NV5 Invitational

    “That’s just the way the world works right there,” he said of playing with McCormick in Sunday’s final pairing. “It’s going to be awesome. Ryan’s a great guy … happy I gave him the balls, and we’ll see how happy I am tomorrow afternoon.”

    Crowe, who played collegiately at Auburn, entered the week at No. 139 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, with just one top-25 in 11 starts. With just four events remaining before the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, including this week, the sense of urgency has heightened. The top 156 after the Magnit Championship will qualify for the first of four Finals events, the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron, with field reductions each week until 30 PGA TOUR cards are awarded after the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.

    Rather than shy away from the moment, Crowe has thrived in Chicagoland. The native of Greenville, South Carolina, has carded an eagle and 21 birdies this week, against just three bogeys, to carry the pole position into the final round at The Glen Club.

    “Probably a roller coaster,” Crowe said of his season. “I’ve been seeing some progress the last few events, and it’s all starting to click this week. Hopefully it can click tomorrow.”

    Despite his struggles to find a Korn Ferry Tour rhythm of late, Crowe is 2-for-2 in made cuts on the PGA TOUR this season, including a T27 at the Wells Fargo Championship in early May. He knows that his good golf is enough to hang with the best, which he has proven through three days at the NV5 Invitational.

    One day to go.

    “I played great in the Wells Fargo, and then had one bad week after that, and I started searching rather than just sticking to what I was working on,” Crowe said. “Figured out, go back to what I was working on, and it’s been coming back. Just a revolving mystery, this game.”

    As for McCormick’s golf ball mystery, though? Crowe was more than happy to assist.

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for the PGA TOUR. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.

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