05 Apr 2023 | Professional golf | Amateur golf |
Crowe relishing Augusta limelight
by Dane Heverin
Amateur Harrison Crowe is lapping up the spotlight of Masters week as he made a near-ace on the iconic par 3 12th hole during his Tuesday practice round with Adam Scott and Cameron Smith.
Roughly 50,000 patrons attended Augusta National yesterday with a large portion of them gathered around Amen Corner – the 11th, 12th and 13th holes – to witness Crowe’s magical moment.
“That was cool. (It was) probably about half a foot (from the hole),” Crowe said.
“It was nice having the crowd behind me. It was pretty loud. It was awesome. Didn't hit the water. So, the cheer over a boo is pretty good.”
If the Sydneysider can keep sticking it that close to the pin throughout the tournament proper, it may make for long days for his father Tony and other family and friends who have made the journey to Augusta for the 21-year-old’s major debut.
“It's a birdie beer rule for most people in the house this week,” Crowe said with a laugh.
“The idea is to get these guys having as good a time as I am without getting themselves in trouble as well.”
Crowe booked his ticket to The Masters by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur in Thailand in October and his support crew immediately planned the trip of the lifetime.
It is a delicate balance between soaking up the atmosphere and staying focused on the task at hand, but despite the fun and games, the presence of Crowe’s family and friends is helping him to not get swept up in the excitement.
“I think having the guys there this week and all my family there, it kind of makes things a little more normal,” Crowe said.
“I think having those guys around, it makes it a lot more cool. You can definitely get lost in those practice facilities and having people there and just wanting to practice.
“But definitely starting to understand that the week hasn't started yet. I just need to do my work. Yeah, just do my work and almost get out of here and just go relax and socialize and do what I normally would do.”
Another big boost to his preparation has been having the chance to lean on the four other Australians in the field – Scott, Smith, Min Woo Lee and Jason Day – during practice rounds.
“It's nice to pick their brains a little bit. For the most part, we had fun out there. It was just kind of getting to know them a little bit better,” Crowe said.
“It was awesome. The camaraderie around here this week. Got to play with J. Day and Min yesterday. It's been awesome. It's been an awesome week so far, and it's only the start of it.”
Scott, the only Australian to own a green jacket, also played with Crowe in the first two rounds of the ISPS HANDA Australian Open in December and he has been impressed with what he has seen from the rising star.
“He's got a ton of game. Anyone who can make it to Augusta as a young amateur has got it all there in front of him,” Scott said.
“I came here as young guy, I was a pro, but didn't know what I was doing and managed to finish 9th. It can happen. You don't have to know the course that well. Just play what's in front of you, and if you can keep it kind of within the pine trees, then you are going to have a good week. He's got all the game to have a good week.”
Crowe’s connection with his fellow Australians will continue during the first two rounds of the tournament as he has been drawn to play alongside Lee and 1987 champion Larry Mize who chipped in to defeat Greg Norman in a playoff and is playing his 40th and final Masters this week.
Round one tee times – Thursday night and Friday morning AEST
11pm Min Woo Lee, Harrison Crowe (a), Larry Mize
12.30am Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Kurt Kitayama
12.54am Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im
2.48am Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Gordon Sargent
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