Harrison Crowe qualifies for 2019 Australian Open

Dreaming big: Bexley teenager Harrison Crowe has qualified for his first Australian Open, starting in Sydney on Thursday. Picture: John Veage
Dreaming big: Bexley teenager Harrison Crowe has qualified for his first Australian Open, starting in Sydney on Thursday. Picture: John Veage

Instead of spending his usual day working in the pro shop at Bardwell Valley Golf Club, Harrison Crowe hopes he will have a much more challenging Saturday this week.

Competing in the Australian Open.

The 18-year-old from Bexley achieved his dream on Monday, qualifying for his first Australian Open.

Crowe shot a four-under-par 68 in difficult conditions at Carnarvon Golf Club to advance to his maiden national championship.

He has chosen a good year to make his debut, with Crowe to tee it up in a star-studded field alongside Australian favourites Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith as well as international stars Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.

The St Michael's member said he would enjoy plenty of support at The Australian Golf Club, Rosebery for the tournament which starts on Thursday.

"I think there will be a few out here. It would be nice not to have to work in the pro shop this Saturday either," he said.

Thumbs up: Bexley teenager Harrison Crowe will play in his first Australian Open this week after successfully qualifying on Monday. Picture: Golf NSW

Thumbs up: Bexley teenager Harrison Crowe will play in his first Australian Open this week after successfully qualifying on Monday. Picture: Golf NSW

"It feels absolutely amazing. So good."

Crowe had to qualify the hard way. He teed off in the second group of the day at Carnarvon and made a solid start, reaching the turn at two-under.

Knowing he was in with a big chance to qualify at four-under with three holes to play and conditions worsening, Crowe stayed on the attack in an attempt to shoot a really low score.

That was when the nerves hit.

Crowe missed a 30-centimetre putt on his third last hole before missing a birdie putt from just outside a metre on his penultimate hole.

But to his credit, Crowe kept his head.

His final hole, a driveable par four, saw Crowe with the option of playing safe and laying up. Instead, he made the decision to go for the green with his three wood, knocking it onto the front edge of the green.

Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

Crowe chipped close but not close enough for a tap in, leaving himself another tricky nerve-wracking putt from just outside a metre for birdie.

It was all that stood between Crowe and the 104th Australian Open.

The teenager rolled in the putt to secure one of the three qualifying places on offer.

"The best four-footer I have ever sunk, probably the hardest four-footer I have had to hit as well," he said.

Then came the agonising wait for scores from the rest of the field to come in with Crowe one of the first to finish.

"I had to wait like two and a half hours to find out the scores. I was shivering. I was so nervous," he said.

It caps an incredible couple of years for Crowe, who has represented NSW in both their boys and men's teams at the Australian Interstate Series for the last two years.

He was also chosen as part of 2013 US Masters champion Scott's team for the second annual Major Champions Invitational in the US in March, where he finished fourth.

Oyster Bay's Matt Jones, the 2015 champion, will also be in the Australian Open field alongside 11 other former winners.

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