29 Oct 2022 | Amateur golf |
by Dane Heverin
Harrison Crowe produced the equal best round of the day in difficult, windy conditions to take a two shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand.
Crowe, 21, made five birdies, including a near-ace at the iconic island green par-3 17th, in his bogey free third round of 67 to move to 13-under par for the tournament.
“Quite honestly the nerves were not as high as yesterday,” he said. “I felt really comfortable out there most of the day. I’m really proud of myself. The way I handled myself out there, and to be 13-under is pretty awesome.”
Having the lead in a final round is not an unfamiliar position for the Sydneysider, who won the NSW Open, the NSW Amateur, the Victorian Amateur and the Australian Master of the Amateurs last summer, but the chance to secure a berth at the 2023 Masters and The 151st Open adds a new layer of pressure. However, it has not played on his mind so far.
“I haven’t thought about it but honestly, I am confident that when I turn pro, I will be playing these big tournaments later in my career,” Crowe said.
“I’m not comparing the pressure this week. I’m just having a blast this week and will go out there and do the same things tomorrow.
“I would turn pro almost as soon as I get back home, but the focus is on tomorrow. I would love to delay that decision.”
There were two key holes for Crowe on Saturday – the par-4 10th and the par-4 14th. On the 10th, he muscled his ball from the fairway bunker from an awkward lie and managed to make a birdie. On the 14th, he pulled his tee shot into the tall grass, before recovering to make an important 18-feet par putt.
“The last two rounds I have played well before making some mistakes coming in,” Crowe said. “It could have gone a similar way but I am delighted I made those saves. The one on the 14th was crucial and very pleasing.”
The St. Michael’s Golf Club member is vying to become the third Australian to win this event after Antonio Murdaca at Royal Melbourne in 2014 and Curtis Luck at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in 2016, while a number of his countrymen will also be eyeing off a low final round.
West Australian Joshua Greer is the next best of the Australians in a tie for seventh at seven-under par following his three-under par round of 69 that included five birdies, while two-time Australian Junior Amateur champion Jeffrey Guan shot the second best Australian round of the day.
Guan’s four-under par effort moved him into a share of 11th place at six-under par for the tournament alongside Stanford University student Karl Vilips who slipped back after starting the day level with Crowe due to his round of 74.
Australian Amateur champion Connor McKinney is also inside the top-20. The West Australian’s second straight round of 70 moved him to five-under par overall, while his state teammate Hayden Hopewell is even-par after shooting two-over on Saturday.
Sunday’s final round will be live on Fox Sports More+ from 4pm to 7pm AEDT.
Final round tee times AEDT
12.54pm Connor McKinney, Masato Sumiuchi (Japan), Justin Bai (China)
1.05pm Karl Vilips, Jeffrey Guan, James Leow (Singapore)
1.05pm* Hayden Hopewell, Ryan Ang (Singapore), Kazuma Kobori (New Zealand)
1.38pm Joshua Greer, Riura Matsui (Japan), Sam Jones (New Zealand)
2.00pm Harrison Crowe, Bo Jin (China), Minhyuk Song (Korea)
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