The University of Florida Men’s Golf team is in full swing for the Fall season. After losing four seniors from last year that helped carry the team to a 12th place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Gators are looking to rebound with a very young, but talented, team. The key to success for the Gators is having the young guys step up and mature for the Spring season. That’s exactly what Sophomore A.J. Crouch hopes to do.
Crouch has had a lot of individual success to already in his career. His senior year of high school he won the St. Augustine Amateur Championship against 70 other amateur golfers. He also traveled around the nation to participate in junior golf tournaments.
“In the summer, when I wasn’t in school, I traveled around the country to different tournaments. I was ranked as high as 15th in the country after my senior year,” said Crouch.
Crouch hopes his team his team success at Bolles High School in Jacksonville, FL, will translate into team success for the Gators.
“We (Bolles) had been to the state championship every year since my freshmen year and finally we got it done. I came in third individually at state my senior year,” said Crouch.
Although Crouch hasn’t qualified to go to any of the tournaments yet this season, he believes he can pull out of this slump and show the potential he’s showed flashes of in his young career.
“I’ve been struggling so far this season. In the Spring I want to become an SEC All-American and if I turn it on, I have no doubt I can accomplish that,” said Crouch. “My career goals here at the University of Florida are to become an NCAA All-American as well as bring a SEC and National title back to Gainesville.”
After college, Crouch hopes to achieve his dream of playing professionally.
“I’ve always envisioned myself playing on the PGA Tour. I know that I have the skill set and athletic ability to do so. As long as I keep my head on straight and keep working hard, then it’s going to happen,” Crouch said.
Even if the Tour doesn’t work out for A.J. he’s happy knowing he’s getting a quality education from the University of Florida while majoring in Economics. Although he’s not one-hundred percent sure Economics would be his chosen route, he feels very comfortable with his “Plan B” and said, “What could be better than a degree from the University of Florida?”
The Gators next tournament, the Kiawah Invitational, will be October 27-29 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Crouch is hoping to join the team for the first time this year and begin chipping away at his dreams.