He’ll earn his first PGA Tour paycheck on Sunday. He can thank ‘Dr. Chipinksy’

Trace Crowe

Trace Crowe hits his tee shot on Friday on the 16th hole at PGA National.

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Trace Crowe says his buddies call him Dr. Chipinsky. And if your buddies call you Dr. Chipinsky, then you damn sure better be Dr. Chipinsky. 

But first, let’s talk about Mr. Crowe. 

He’s been a pro for about three years now. But the 26-year-old’s really been into golf, in general, for only a little over a decade. The Crowes of South Carolina liked their hoops. Then you start seeing Tiger Woods do his thing, and here we are. 

“He made you motivated to go practice and stuff like that,” Crowe said last year in a video filmed by the Korn Ferry Tour

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“… Grew up playing all kinds of sports. All of my family is a basketball family. But we grew up on the golf course, and I always thought golf was pretty boring. And then I just started falling in love with the game, living there, from practicing, going out and being on your own and just getting better and working at it. 

“I fell in love when I was like 14 and I’m still in love with the grind still today. I just love getting better and the opportunity to when you play good and seeing your hard work pay off.” 

Let’s talk about that grind now. It’s been one. 

A former star at Auburn, he’s tried to make a living out of the game. A break came last year, when he made 17 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. He made nine cuts, and you can do the other math. He finished 138th on the season points list. He made $38,024. There’s more, though, of course. 

On Monday, he shot seven-under to win the Honda Classic qualifier, and he was in his second-ever event on the big circuit, in 2017, while at Auburn, he played in the Barbasol Classic and missed the cut. This was his shot, though. During Thursday’s first round, he shot a two-over 72. That’s OK. PGA National is no joke. But he had work to do. And on Friday, Crowe carded two birdies and two bogeys before coming to the par-4 9th, his closing hole, and he probably needed a birdie to make the weekend cut. 

Let’s talk about Dr. Chipinsky now. 

He drove down the right side on 9. And then he hit short of the green, also on the right side.  

And then Chipinsky chipped in. On the 51-foot miracle, his ball landed about a foot onto the green, it took four bounces and rolled the rest of the way before falling. In the background, his playing partners, Sam Stevens and Nico Echavarria, each raised an arm. Crowe/Chipinsky fist-bumped his caddie, Jared Burgoyne.

A buddy recorded it and yelled, “Do it, do it, let’s go, Trace! Come on! Woo!’” Crowe shared the video to his Instagram story and wrote: “Dr. Chipinsky to make the weekend @thehondaclassic time to get (fire emoji).” 

Crowe made his first PGA Tour cut. He’ll cash a nice check; on Saturday, he shot a 70. The Tour also shared his buddy’s video, and they did a short interview with him. 

“Me and my caddie were like, dude, we gotta make this, or we’re going home,” Crowe/Chipinsky said. “I was playing with Sam Stevens. Played with him a good bit last year. And he had his arm out like 6 feet out, and I was like, it must be good.”

Asked a narrator: “I think on Instagram they called you Mr. Chipinsky?”

“I said that, yeah,” Crowe/Chipinsky said. “I put Walter Chipinsky and yeah. Yeah, it’s what me and all my boys say back home. Yeah, when it went in, it was hype. It was cool, man, just to get a chance to play the weekend here and just to play tournament golf at this level. 

“It’s awesome.”  

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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