Harrison Crowe books Masters and British Open berths with Asia-Pacific Amateur title

Overnight leader Harrison Crowe rallied on the back nine to edge China’s Bo Jin by one shot and claim the 2022 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Chonburi, Thailand, on Saturday. With the victory, Crowe receives invitations to the 2023 Masters and The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.

“It means so much. I played a lot of really good golf early in the season, but towards the middle of the year when I travelled overseas, I didn’t play very good golf at all,” Crowe said. “I came out here this week with something to prove, and I’m just really proud of myself the way I handled myself on and off the course.”

At Amata Spring Country Club, Crowe, ranked No. 43 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, fell three shots behind Jin when he made the turn at 3-over par. However, four birdies in a five-hole span starting at No. 11 and a clutch up and down for par from the back of the 18th hole helped him to shoot even-par 72 and hang on for a one-shot victory.

“I certainly had to dig deep,” said Crowe, who turned 21 on October 15. “At the turn, I kind of told my dad and his mate, that I just needed one to go in, just one to drop, and from there, I backed myself to keep it going. I had not had a birdie all day, and the one on 11th got my momentum going forward,”

Japan’s Ryuta Suzuki (73) and Crowe’s compatriot, Jeff Guan (69), tied for the third place at nine under par.

Jin (71) started the day two behind Crowe but made his move with an approach to tap-in distance for a birdie on the first hole as the Australian slipped to an opening bogey.

Jin looked to be in a strong position after an eagle from the bunker at the back of the par-4 12th hole, but Crowe holed out for a birdie to stay three behind. He tied things up when he made his fourth birdie in five holes on the par-5 15th. But his share of the lead would be fleeting as Crowe missed the 16th green and bogeyed the hole.

The island green par-3 17th would play a major factor in the outcome as Jin’s tee shot to the 129-yard hole came up short in the water and he took a double-bogey five, giving Crowe a one-shot lead going to 18. But his approach at the home hole flirted with the water and he needed to rescue par.

“I think it was going to go in the water. I pulled it, but I flushed it,” Crowe said. “I was just hoping that it just caught a bit of green.”

Crowe becomes the third Australian player to win the AAC trophy and will have the opportunity to defend his title when the championship returns to Royal Melbourne next year.

Jin was bidding to add another AAC trophy to his family cabinet alongside the one won by his brother Cheng in 2015.

“This is not the position I wanted to be in, but I am very proud of the way I played this whole week. You just can’t take anything away from Crowe and the way he played the back nine,” said Jin, who earned a spot in British Open final qualifying. “I have got another year in the college, so if they invite me back, I am definitely coming to Melbourne next year and try this all over again. Hopefully, I will finish one position better.”

In 2009, the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the APGC announced the formation of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in an effort to further develop amateur golf throughout the region. The field is comprised annually of the top male amateurs in the Asia-Pacific region representing the 42 Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation affiliated organizations.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek