It was a busy Sunday morning for Harrison Crowe, a 21-year-old amateur golfer hailing from the beaches of Sydney, Australia.
Where should we start? Was it when he shot three-under on the back nine at the devilishly prickly Amata Spring Golf Club in Chon Buri, Thailand, recovering from a shaky, three-over front? Or maybe when he won this weekend’s most consequential golf tournament, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship? Or should we focus on Crowe’s amateur career, which was prolonged for at least another eight months by his victory?
No, we should start at the end — that, after all, is what led to the beginning.
The end: On Sunday at the Asia-Pacific Amateur, Harrison Crowe punched his ticket to the Masters, the Open Championship, and his own small piece of golf lore by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur.
In grabbing a victory at the Asia-Pacific Amateur, Crowe joins a short but notable list of winners including Hideki Matsuyama (a two-time APA champ) and last year’s winner, Keita Nakajima. The event, for which Augusta National and the R&A are “founding partners,” was created just 13 years ago in an effort to strengthen the amateur game across Asia and the South Pacific. In order to entice competitors, each year, the winner of the tournament is guaranteed entrance into both the Masters and Open Championship.
“When I wake up in the morning, it’s going to be pretty surreal,” Crowe said after the victory. “Knowing I’m playing the Masters and the Open Championship.”
Surreal, perhaps, but not unearned. Crowe, the tournament’s 54-hole leader, won the trophy on his own accord on Sunday afternoon in Thailand. His 13-under score included gutsy saves on the island-green 13th and 18th, a stretch of four birdies in five holes, and bested China’s Bo Jin by only a single stroke.
“I certainly had to dig deep,” Crowe said. “At the turn, I kind of told my dad and his mate, that I just needed one to go in, just one to drop, and from there, I backed myself to keep it going. I had not had a birdie all day, and the one on 11th got my momentum going forward.”
That momentum carried him all the way to the 18th green, where a sublime up-and-down secured the victory and, by extension, Crowe’s plans for the second week of next April. Not bad for a Sunday in October.
“It means so much,” Crowe said. “I came out here this week with something to prove, and I’m just really proud of myself the way I handled myself on and off the course.”