As reigning champion of the Asia-Pacific Amateur, Australian Harrison Crowe had nine months to look forward to his debut at The Open in 2023. And walking off after his first competitive round at Royal Liverpool, Crowe reflected on the experience.
“It was awesome; a few nerves on the first tee and they quickly settled, so it was a good day out there,” said Crowe. “To be inside the ropes this week, it’s awesome.”
While Crowe ultimately missed the cut in his Open debut, he didn’t leave the grounds without a few highlights. During his first round, he stuck an approach inside four feet at the par-4 11th – before tapping in for birdie – and added a second birdie at the long par-4 16th, one of the more difficult holes on the course. He added two more birdies in tough conditions on Friday at the fifth and seventh holes.
Competing alongside his countrymen as part of a strong Aussie contingent provided another highlight for Crowe. The Open has had a distinct Australian influence over the past couple of years, with Jason Day’s runner-up finish in 2023 coming a year after Cameron Smith’s breakthrough at St Andrews.
“It's awesome having so many Aussie guys here,” said Crowe, who competed alongside fellow Australian Min Woo Lee and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout during the first two rounds. “I played a lot of amateur golf with Robert McKinney, so it was awesome seeing him qualify. Haydn Barron. Got an opportunity to play with Min [Woo] at the Masters, David Micheluzzi is a good mate of mine. It's great to have a lot of Aussie support, and saw some Aussie supporters out in the crowd, too…Good camaraderie. It's easy. Makes things a lot easier out there, especially for me in my first Open. It's awesome.”
Crowe hopes to compete in many editions of The Open in the coming years and cited a long-term dream of his when summarizing his experience.
“The Open has always been an event I've wanted to play and win growing up.”