29 Oct 2022 | Amateur golf |
Crowe, Vilips set for weekend charge at Asia-Pacific Am
by Dane Heverin
Harrison Crowe and Karl Vilips are two shots off the lead following a pair of five-under par second rounds of 67 at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand.
Starting the day four shots back from leader Bo Jin of China, the Australian duo headed out on course hunting a low score to put themselves firmly in contention heading into the weekend and their positive attitude translated into making seven birdies a piece.
They now sit at eight-under for the tournament in a share of fourth place, although Crowe was within one shot of Jin heading up the last before closing out his round with a bogey for a second straight day.
”I feel like I’m in a really nice spot and it’s definitely improving throughout the week,” Crowe said.
“I know at the start of the year I was playing a lot good golf and it’s starting to come back in this back half of the year which is kind of nice.
“I do know how to get it done but I’ve got to stay in the moment.”
The Sydneysider produced a remarkable run of wins last summer at the NSW Open, the NSW Amateur, the Victorian Amateur and the Australian Master of the Amateurs, but has not performed as he would have liked during the northern hemisphere summer.
His relief that he began to recapture some of that form was on full display on Friday when he holed a long par putt on the 12th.
”(The fist pump) is not usually part of my game but I feel that one on 12 was warranted,” Crowe said.
“I could have very well come unstuck but I kept my head on. That meant a lot that putt to keep my momentum going.”
Vilips meanwhile relied on some long bombs off the tee to keep working his way up the leaderboard.
“I hit some pretty big drives on the back nine,” the Standford University student said.
“I took advantage of some of the holes that were downwind. I can get it out there if I need to. There’s a lot of doglegs out here where I can cut 60, 70 yards off the hole.”
The West Australian feels as if it will be his work from the fairways and greens that will decide his fate over the coming 36 holes however.
“I need to hit my irons better to take advantage of the holes when I’m on the fairway and hopefully hole some more putts,” Vilips said.
“All my birdies have been tap-ins or two putts. Keep the driver where it is but put the ball in better spots on the greens to give myself better looks.”
Fellow West Australian Joshua Greer shot a one-under par second round that was undone by a bogey-double bogey run at the 16th and 17th to be tied for 18th at four-under.
Greer started the day level with Crowe and Vilips, while Australian Amateur champion Connor McKinney moved to three-under with a round of 70 that included five birdies.
A shot back from McKinney are his West Australian teammate Hayden Hopewell and two-time Australian Junior Amateur champion Jeffrey Guan after they both also shot 70s.
Victorian Lukas Michel was the lone Australian to miss the cut despite shooting a 69 as his six-over par first round proved too costly.
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