Aussie Amateur Crowe Taking Flight At Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Harrison Crowe was having a couple of pints last summer at The Dunvegan, a pub just around the corner from the Old Course at St. Andrews, when a golf podcaster challenged someone to hit a ball off the pavement and onto the 18th green.

That would be over the buildings, across the street and onto the 18th green.

Crowe doesn’t remember how many drinks he had in him. He does remember the shot. With his left foot on the corner of the sidewalk, his right on the street, Crowe took a mighty swing and sent the ball soaring over the buildings.

The video of the successful shot went viral, turning the amateur into something of a celebrity at his first Masters.

“I think hitting that shot just kind of shows the person that I am, that I’m not really afraid to give everything a shot,” Crowe said after a practice round at Augusta National on Monday. “And it kind of shows a little bit more of the Aussie culture a little bit, that we are pretty laid back and we are ready to do things.”

Crowe’s victory at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last year put him in select Aussie company: Adam Scott is back on the 10th anniversary of his Masters triumph, British Open champ Cameron Smith is among the favorites, Jason Day is rising through the world rankings now that he’s healthy, and Min Woo Lee is a trendy pick to do well.

“The course is definitely longer than I expected,” Crowe said, “but more so the aura around the players is so mesmerizing. You go down Magnolia Lane, it’s so special. Driving the car down there, it’s a life-changing experience. And then being here today, especially seeing how many people are out there, it’s nerve-wracking. But it’s more so exciting.”