In June last year rising Australian star Harrison Crowe went viral when video emerged of him hitting a nine-iron from the footpath outside a bar at St Andrews onto the 18th green.
Now the Sydneysider will get the chance to set a real British Open score after wining his ticket to both next year’s tournament at Royal Liverpool and the Masters at Augusta following a stunning one-shot win in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Challenged by Random Golf Club Films host Erik Anders Lang to repeat a legendary feat achieved by golfing superstar Ernie Els, Crowe, who had been in the The Dunvegan pub, the course’s famous 19th hole, nailed it with his second try to the amazement of onlookers.
He’s pushed on since then and Crowe will now happily put off turning professional for another 12 months after earning a dream ticket to the Masters and Open Championship next year.
The 21-year-old Sydneysider said he had “goosebumps” before holding aloft the trophy in Thailand knowing he’d be ticking off a career bucket-list item early when he heads to Augusta in 2023.
Crowe started the final round in Thailand in the lead but dropped four shots on the opening nine holes to fall three shots behind his Chinese Rival Bo Jin at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi.
But the young Aussie turned things around with four birdies in five holes, then took the lead on the 17th hole, thanks to a double bogey from Jin, who found the water on the par three.
Crowe then showed iced in his veins to pipe a perfect drive down the dangerous 18th hole and walked off with a par that locked in his ticket to next year’s two majors, where he’ll join fellow Australian Cameron Smith who will be the defending Open champion at Royal Liverpool.
The 43rd-ranked amateur in the world, Crowe said he went to the event with a “point to prove” before walking away victorious.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet but it feels amazing right now,” he said.
“I came out here this week with something to prove and I’m extremely proud of myself. I hung in there today.
“It took a lot of digging deep there and obviously had a great chat with my dad and coach, a manager there and just kind of helped me along the way. Extremely proud of myself, as I said, and had to dig really deep.
“Goosebumps, absolutely goosebumps. It’s really surreal. It’s just been awesome. Absolutely awesome.
Crowe became the third Australia to win the event and the first since Curtis Luck in 2016.
If he hadn’t won, Crowe was almost certain he would have turned professional on his return to Australia.
But he also said he would “love to delay that decision” should he win, which he did.
The next edition of the championship will be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Victoria, in 2023.