April 19, 2024

Harrison Crowe has claimed the biggest win of his growing career in the Victorian Amateur final at Metropolitan Golf Club today.

Crowe dominated Western Australian Joshua Greer in the men’s final, winning 6 and 5. Although the 19-year-old from St Michael’s Golf Club has previously won the Asia Pacific boys’ title, he said the Victorian Amateur trophy was his most significant.

Crowe was on fire in the first half of the men’s final, reaching six-under-par through the first 18 holes as they went to lunch, three up on Joondalup’s Joshua Greer.

Then the cool change came, the wind turned, and the course was a different beast.

Harrison Crowe with the Victorian Amateur Trophy today
Harrison Crowe with the Victorian Amateur Trophy today

At the par-four ninth, Crowe hit an exquisite chip from an awkward spot right of the green, working it off a ridge and back to the flag to win a hole which proved significant as he’d hit his tee shot into the trees.

The pair slugged it out until the par-four 13th (the 12th on the course) in the afternoon, where the New South Welshman closed it out with a short birdie putt.

“This morning, Josh and I really ground each other out and drained ourselves for this afternoon,” he said later. “Then the wind switched, and it was a lot harder to score. It became a lot more par golf. It was super tough.”

“Fatigue was a factor today. “My feet are dead,” he said. “It’s mentally draining more than physically draining. That’ll kick in soon.”

Crowe said he felt vindicated for his hard work. “It’s a great finish to the year,” he said. “It (2020) has been pretty ordinary, but it’s something to build on in the future.”

With the Australian Master of the Amateurs, Avondale, The NSW and the Australian Amateur in the new year, Crowe, who started his golf at Bardwell Valley, has plenty to look forward to. He believes he is improving.

“I can feel it,” he said. “Even before this week, I set the bar pretty high. I had to dig deep in the strokeplay. I was outside the top ten.

“I had a nice round Saturday, found something and finished third, and kept it rolling into the matchplay.”

It ended a long week of golf that included a drama in the semi-final on Monday when Crowe suffered from a sudden nose bleed.

He and his opponent had to call the group behind through as he sought treatment. The bleeding eventually stopped in time for him to complete the win.

“I was glad I didn’t get my white shorts dirty. Everything else was dirty.” Crowe smiled.

2020 Victorian Amateur Champions, Harrison Crowe and Western Australia's Kirsten Rudgeley
2020 Victorian Amateur Champions, Harrison Crowe and Western Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley

Rudgeley Claims Double

IN the women’s final, Perth’s Kirsten Rudgeley beat Jeneath Wong 3 and 2 to back up her win in the Port Phillip Open Amateur, which serves as the qualifying for the Victorian Amateur, last weekend.

Rudgeley, 19, made a solid par at the long par-four 15th hole to clinch her win over 16-year Wong, the Malay-born star who has won the past three club championships at Metropolitan.

Rudgeley plays off a plus-six handicap at Mt Lawley, home club of Hannah Green, with whom she is close friends. She was born in England but emigrated with her parents when she was three.

Rudgeley is the first player since Stephanie Bunque in 2017 to win the Port Phillip and the Victorian Amateur in the same year.

Winner of the past three WA Amateurs, she is one of the best amateur players in the country and only getting better.

“It’s nice to be able to do it somewhere else besides WA,” she said, adding that she is beginning to grasp the nuances of the Melbourne sandbelt.

“I love it,” she said. “These courses are awesome.

“Mt Lawley’s nothing like this. Even this is a different golf course to Commonwealth (venue for two rounds of qualifying). You have to adapt your game pretty quickly.”