Christmas has arrived early for St Michael’s Harrison Crowe, with the courier dropping his much-anticipated invitation to the 2023 Masters at Augusta, Georgia, on his doorstep just after lunch today.
Thankfully, he was there to grab the prized satchel bearing a Christmas gift like no other.
“I was actually on the way out to do some last-minute shopping, then I was heading to the beach,” an excited Crowe beamed.
” I saw it there on the step and said to myself, yep! I know what this is! Here we go!”
Crowe said unwrapping the courier’s satchel, then seeing the perfectly lettered green envelope and embossed invitation card was an almost out-of-body experience.
“Opening it was a spine-tingler, for sure. This is quite a Christmas gift; it’s starting to feel real now.”
The 21-year-old’s appearance in next year’s tournament will fulfil a life-long dream that began as a five-year-old chasing his father, Tony, around Bardwell Valley Golf Club and which will now ultimately see the young gun tackle two of the game’s most revered Majors.
“When I was in Primary School I had to write a story and draw a picture about a goal in life or something I wanted to do when I grew up, and I remember I drew a picture of the Green Jacket and writing that I wanted to win the Masters.”
“I would have been 10 or 11 when I did that, and it must’ve been on my bedroom wall for a good ten years.”
Like most athletes who dream of competing on the grandest stages, Crowe, while stating he ‘ wasn’t much of a bookworm’, did admit one of the few he was inspired to read from cover-to-cover was Amen, the tale of Adam Scott’s breakout performance in becoming the first Australian to wear the coveted Green Jacket.
“It is probably the first and only book I’ve ever read. I don’t think I even read a full book at school!” he laughed. “And in a few months, I’ll get to play a practice round with him where he did it!”
Crowe said that although days after his win in the Asia Pacific Amateur in November had been a whirlwind, things had settled down, however, and he was ready to celebrate the end of a very successful year.
“The week after I got back was gruelling for me, it was a long week, and I think I had media stuff for at least five or six days straight after.
” It did calm down, and it gave me a bit of time to realise what I had achieved and I got to celebrate it with my mates back home.”
Crowe has a busy schedule in front of him to begin the new year. First up is the Australian Master of The Amateurs, The Australian Amateur at St Michael’s (his home course) and the neighbouring NSW Golf Club at La Perouse, followed by the defence of his 2022 NSW amateur title at Pennant Hills.
After that, it’s off to Augusta for his first look at the fabled Cathedral in the Pines.
“I won’t be playing many events in February, I’m heading over to Augusta early in the month,” he added. “I get to have five practice rounds, plus as many rounds with a member as I can organise.”
Following his hit-and-run mission, Crowe will return to defend his NSW Open Crown at Rich River Golf Club in March.
“I’ll probably play Riverdale (Cup), then drive up to Rich River. I don’t want to play much more golf before heading over there again.
With people constantly asking if his achievement had sunk in, Crowe said he can now change his response from ‘ Well, I know I’m playing in it, and I’ve watched a few replay videos’ to something more timely.
“I can tell them how real it feels now the invite has arrived,” he grinned.