06 Sep 2023 | Professional golf | Amateur golf |
Amateur star Harrison Crowe turns professional
by Tony Webeck
New South Welshman Harrison Crowe has made the decision to turn professional, bringing to a close a stellar amateur career both in Australia and abroad.
The 21-year-old from St Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney declared his desire to turn professional today, capitalising on the PGA Tour of Australasia exemption he received for winning the 2022 NSW Open at Concord Golf Club.
That exemption was due to expire at the end of the 2023/2024 season, prompting Crowe to join the pro ranks starting from the Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open at Joondalup Country Club in Perth from October 5-8.
The decision to go pro means that Crowe will forgo the opportunity to defend his Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship title at Royal Melbourne Golf Club from October 26-29, instead setting his sights on a full season on home soil before taking his game to the world.
With three DP World Tour cards and exemptions to international Qualifying Schools on offer through the Order of Merit – not to mention DP World Tour co-sanctioning of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and ISPS HANDA Australian Open – Crowe knows the path forward starts on home soil.
“To have the goals that I want to achieve, I need to be playing a full season,” said Crowe, who has not played either of the first two tournaments of the season, the PNG Open and NT PGA.
“If I was to wait any longer and miss those additional events, I could be starting behind the eight ball with regards to the Order of Merit.
“I don’t feel like I should be trying to skip any of the steps; I need to earn my right to play on certain tours.
"For the time being, it’s getting myself on the PGA Tour of Australasia where I do feel comfortable and letting my golf do the talking.
“I think I’m more than mentally ready to make that jump and it’s shaping up to be a nice schedule.”
The timeline on Crowe’s move into the professional ranks has been closely monitored since he edged Blake Windred by a shot to claim the NSW Open in March last year.
It was expected that he would turn professional following the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last October yet a victory sealed with an up-and-down on the 72nd hole opened the doors to major championship starts at both The Masters and The Open Championship.
“I think the decision would have been made a lot earlier if I didn’t make that up-and-down,” Crowe conceded.
“The perks of playing two majors is pretty cool but regardless of the two majors, the extra experience that I got and continuously learning really opened my eyes.
"The people that I got to meet, the people that I got to play with and the advice I was given is pretty priceless and I definitely wouldn’t have gotten that if it wasn’t for the Asia-Pacific Amateur last year.
"It made me more and more ready the more I played and the more I travelled.”
As he enters the next phase of his golf career, Crowe expressed his gratitude to parents Shaunaugh and Tony, long-time coach John Serhan, his immediate team and the support he has received from both Golf NSW and Golf Australia.
“The opportunities that I have been given in amateur golf representing my state, representing my club, representing my country, it’s been truly unforgettable,” he added.
“Playing Interstate Series or playing Eisenhower Trophy, it’s something that you’re holding onto no matter where you are and where you’re playing.
“That you did get to play for your country, you did get to play for your state, you played for your club.
"There are plenty of golfers out there that haven’t got the chance and it’s something huge that I can take forward.
“That I’m one of those players that did get the opportunity to play those events, to travel the world as an amateur golfer.
“It’s been a pretty crazy journey, but it’s been awesome.”
Graeme Phillipson, Chief Operating Officer at Golf NSW, was effusive in his praise for Crowe as he entered this exciting stage of his career.
“Harrison leaves the amateur ranks with a distinguished record matched by only a few in our game,” said Phillipson.
“It will be a thrill to see his career flourish in the pro ranks and we hope that he emulates the careers of several who have gone before him, including PGA TOUR winner Cam Davis, LPGA Tour winner Grace Kim and his St Michael’s club match, Steph Kyriacou.”
PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said Crowe would be a very welcome new face on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“Harrison is a great example of the pathways that exist in Australian golf for our young men and women to progress from junior golf through to the High Performance Squads and then professional golf,” he said.
“Harrison has had an outstanding amateur career and is already shown what it takes to be a Tour winner thanks to his memorable victory at the NSW Open.
“We look forward to seeing his game continue to grow in the professional game.”
Golf Australia High Performance Director Tony Meyer said: “Harrison has shown throughout his amateur career that he has the game to compete with the pros.
“We’re really excited to see him continue to develop his game over the summer in Australia and look forward to seeing his continued progress.”
Age: 21 (October 15, 2001)
Home club: St Michael’s Golf Club, Sydney
Coach: John Serhan
Major appearances: 2023 Masters (MC), 2023 Open Championship (MC)
Professional tournament wins: 2022 NSW Open
Major amateur wins: 2022 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship; 2022 Master of the Amateurs; 2022 NSW Amateur; 2021 Victorian Amateur; 2020 Victorian Amateur; 2019 Asia-Pacific Junior; 2018 Riversdale Cup; 2018 Bonville Champions Trophy.
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