Crouch Shoots 65 in Second Round of Western Amateur, Stands Tied for 13th
CHICAGO - Former Florida Southern two-time Division II National Champion golfer Tim Crouch played a near perfect round here Wednesday in the second round of the 2014 Western Amateur Championship as the two-time All-American recorded seven birdies and just one bogey on his scorecard to post a score of six-under par 65 at the Beverly Country Club to climb up 82 spots on the leaderboard.
Crouch, who is playing in the Western Amateur for the first time, has shot a two-day, 36 hole total of three-under par 139 to stand in an eight-way tie for 13th place and make the 44-player cut for Thursday's final two rounds of stroke play at the 112th annual event. A big second round was needed by Crouch if he wanted to remain in the tournament as he opened the tournament by shooting a three-over 74 in Tuesday's first round to stand tied for 95th place.
Crouch's six-under 65 was the third best round of the day at the 7,016-yard Beverly Country Club as Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Ill., who will be freshman this coming fall at the University of Texas, shot a BCC course record of eight-under par 63 to move into first place on the leaderboard after 36 holes of stroke play and University of Illinois senior-to-be Brian Campbell, who was a Second-Team PING All-American last season, shot a seven-under par 64. Ghim's score of 63 eclipsed the previous course record of 64 set by Tom Weiskopf during the 1967 Western Open Pro-Am. Weiskopf, who won the 1963 Western Amateur Championship, was the winner of the 1973 British Open Championship and the 1995 U.S. Senior Open and won a total of 16 PGA Tour events in his professional career.
Ghim holds a three-shot lead over SMU junior-to-be Bryson DeChambeau, who fired a three-under 68 in Wednesday's second round and has fired a seven-under 135 through 36 holes. Campbell, San Diego State senior-to-be Xander Schauffele, 23-year old New Zealand native Joshua Munn and Australian Geoff Drakeford are tied for third as they each have shot six-under 136's for 36 holes. Campbell shot a one-over 72 in the first round, while Schauffele, who shot a 2-under 69 on Tuesday to stand tied for 11th, fired a 4-under 67 in the second round. Munn, who fired a 4-under 67 in the first round, carded a 2-under 69 on Wednesday and Drakeford, who was the first round co-leader and the winner of last week's Porter Cup Championship, followed up his six-under 65 in the opening round with an even-par 71 on Wednesday.
The low 44 players and ties after the Wednesday's second round of stroke play, will play a final 36 holes of stroke play on Thursday to determine the 16 players that will advance to match play beginning on Friday. On Friday, there will be two 18-hole matches to narrow the field to four semifinalists, who will then play in the morning semifinals on Saturday, before the top two finishers in the semifinals will meet Saturday afternoon in a final 18-hole championship match.
After two rounds of play, Crouch, who is a native of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, stands tied for 13th with seven other players as they have each shot three-under par scores of 139 and are seven shots behind the tournament's overall leader and seven shots behind DeChambeau, who is in second place. Among the players Crouch is tied with are Oklahoma State junior-to-be Jordan Niebrugge, who is the defending Western Amateur Champion and competed in this year's Masters in Augusta, Ga. Niebrugge, who shot a two-under 69 in Tuesday's opening round, carded a one-under 70 in Wednesday's second round.
Entering Thursday's final two rounds of stroke play, there are 39 golfers that have shot under par through the first two rounds at the historic Beverly County Club.
In Wednesday's second round, Crouch, who is one of only three Division II golfers to ever win back-to-back national championships and one of only four to win multiple national titles, opened with a two-under par 34 on the front nine, before shooting a four-under par 31 on the back nine. On the day, he had seven birdies, 10 pars and recorded a bogey on the par-3, No. 6 hole. Through the first two rounds, he has recorded 10 birdies, seven bogeys and 19 pars and has played the course's four par-5 holes at two-under par through two rounds of action.
The Western Amateur Championship is one of the leading annual amateur golf tournaments in the United States. The tournament, which this year includes 156 players, began in 1899 and features both stroke play (four rounds) and match play (four rounds) over a span of five days. Over the years, the tournament, which is being played at Beverly Country Club on the Southwest Side of Chicago for the first time since 1930, has seen its Sweet 16 members win 24 of the last 30 PGA Tour Player of the Year awards, 12 of the Top 20 on the PGA Tour career money list, 32 major championship winners for a total of 79 major championships, 10 participants in the 2012 Ryder Cup and 16 of the last 20 U.S. Amateur champions.
Since the tournament's inception in 1899, some of golf's greats have won the Western Amateur Championship, including Jack Nicklaus (1961), Tiger Woods (1994), Ben Crenshaw (1973), Justin Leonard (1993 and 1992), Phil Mickelson (1991), Curtis Strange (1974), Hal Sutton (1979 and 1980), Lanny Wadkins (1970) and Andy Bean (1975).
This year's 156-player field features 50 of the world's top 100 amateur players, including 21 of the top 37. Crouch, who took home both the 2013 and 2014 individual Division II national championship, is currently ranked 84th in the latest Scratch Players World Amateur rankings after his tie for sixth place finish at last week's 56th Annual Porter Cup Championships.
In addition to playing at the both the Western Amateur and the Porter Cup Championships the past two weeks, Crouch, who will turn professional this coming fall, has had a busy summer playing on the amateur circuit as he recently took home the championship at the 50th Annual Mid-Ohio Golf Invitational, was fifth at the Ohio State Amateur Championships in early July and missed out on qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championships in a playoff for the third of three qualifying spots. He is a second alternate for this year's event. In addition, Crouch finished in a tie for 15th place at the 61st Annual Sunnehanna Amateur Championship held on June 11-14 at the Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown, Pa.
At the NCAA Division II National Championships, Crouch became the eighth Moccasin men's golfer and the first to ever win back-to-back national titles as he shot an even-par 213 at the Meadows at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich. With his individual national title, Crouch (2013 and 2014) joins Steve Sokol (2001), Jeff Klauk (2000), Matt Saglio (1999), Lee Janzen (1986), Tom Patri (1981) and Tom Gleeton (1979) as Mocs who have won individual national titles.
Crouch will tee off from the No. 10 tee beginning at 8:54 Eastern Thursday morning to begin the third round and will tee off from the No. 1 tee at 1:54 p.m. Eastern on Thursday afternoon to complete the stroke play portion of the event. Crouch will play on Thursday with Nick Hardy, who is a freshman-to-be at the University of Illinois. Hardy, who is from Northbrook, Ill., is one of the eight players Crouch is tied with for 13th place after Wednesday's second round.
Click here for complete results of the 2014 Western Open Championship