Harrison Crowe is determined to deal with unfinished business this week in what shapes as a final appearance for New South Wales at the Golf Australia Interstate Teams Matches.
Playing the three-day event at his windswept home course at St Michael’s on Sydney’s coastline has him even more excited to leave his mark for the team from Tuesday.
Crowe’s memories of an unforgettable start at the Masters at Augusta National last month may be overflowing but this week is driven by a memory of a different kind.
Four years on, it still niggles him that NSW lost to Victoria on a countback in the 2019 final of the Men’s Interstate Teams Matches at Tasmania Golf Club.
“That Tassie year was a real low blow for us. I know it sticks with me and with Jye (Pickin) each time we play the Interstate series,” Crowe, 21, said.
“Having these matches in my backyard and on a course where plenty in the NSW team have played pennants matches hopefully means we can put ourselves in a really good position this week.
“It could quite possibly be my last Interstate series so I’m really looking forward to an awesome week as a team when golf is such an individual sport for most of the year.”
At No. 39 in the world, Crowe is Australia’s top-ranked amateur and the year will only get bigger when he tees up in The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July.
Winds of up to 40km per hour are forecast for Tuesday’s opening day which will add extra spice to the mixed-team, round-robin format where four men and four women play singles matches against golfers from rival states.
The mixed-team format was only introduced last year and Crowe admitted that better embracing it will be the key to any NSW success.
“It was all a bit new last year and we weren’t quite a unit because we treated it like men’s and women’s teams. We are all really focussed on acting as one squad and being there for everyone this year … and having a boatload of fun,” Crowe said.
Daley Loumanis, St Michael’s club champion for the first time at just 16 in 2020, is another on the NSW team with deep local knowledge. None of the top amateurs in the event will go in blind, have played the course during the Australian Amateur earlier this year.
Keeley Marx and the Victorian team arrived in Sydney on Sunday night in preparation for a strong defence of their crown.
“Winning last year (at Sorrento) definitely gives us extra confidence with a number of returning players,” Marx said.
“A lot of us train together at Sandringham (at the Australian Golf Centre) so the chemistry is there already and we know each other’s games.”
Amelia Harris was a breakout performer last year with several key wins at just 13. She back as a 14-year-old Year 10 student.
“Her game is an absolute asset. She’s got extra confidence and has no trouble mixing with older players,” Marx said.
“If the forecast is for wind, bring it on. We play on a lot of open courses in Victoria through wind, hail and shine so we’d see it as an advantage if the wind is up.”
On Tuesday morning, the Vics meet South Australia, Queensland face Western Australia and NSW open against Tasmania.
The traditional NSW-Victoria showdown is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.