Harrison Crowe has kept a cool head in testing conditions in the opening round of the 2022 Australian Master of the Amateurs.
With plenty in the field struggling in the tricky conditions at Victoria Golf Club, the St. Michael’s young gun has carded a handy four-under-68 to lead by one from Merewether Golf Club’s Luke Ferrier.
Queensland’s Justin Morley and Royal Melbourne’s Connor McDade and Jack Holland are in third, with another seven players a shot further back at one-under on a log-jammed leaderboard.
Crowe, the current Victorian Amateur Champion, however, is the man they are chasing. His round, which included six birdies and just two bogeys, began and ended in the best possible way with birdies at the 1st and 18th holes.
“I only made a couple of mistakes, just a couple of minor ones off the tee early on. I didn’t have the rhythm with my drive early on, but my putter helped me.”
Despite his early round struggles with the big dog, Crowe said his start could’ve been even better; after driving the green on the reachable par-four first, the 21-year-old’s approach putt almost dropped in.
“I hit it onto the front edge to the back-right pin. I hit a perfect putt from about 20 metres. it lipped out and ended up about 2cm behind the hole.”
“On 17, I had to hit Driver-Driver, but then hit a wedge to about a foot,” Crowe added. “But the last was straight downwind, and I hit a Driver-gap wedge to about six metres and two-putted.”
Crowe said it was the type of day where keeping mistakes to a minimum and not chasing unrealistic birdie opportunities was the key to his excellent score. Something he had taken from the successful defence of his VicAm Crown in December.
“It was just a steady-as-she-goes kind of day. There was a bit of wind about making it tough,” Crowe said post-round. “I took advantage of the easy holes and putted solidly in that six-to-ten foot range.”
“Mentally, I just plodded along today. I learnt a lot from defending my Vic Am crown last month about the mindset you need down here.”
“Victoria is becoming a bit of a happy hunting ground,” he smiled.
After the opening round in the women’s division, Western Australia’s Pantita Phobubpa has a two-shot lead from local favourite, Jenneath Wong.
The Australian Golf Club’s Brielle Mapanao is the best placed of the Blues contingent in a three-way tie for third at two over, with Belinda Ji ( Concord) another shot back in a tie for 6th place.
*Cover Image Courtesy of The Australian Master of the Amateurs