Harrison Crowe kept his cool in a thrilling final to become the third Australian to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship with a one-shot win at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand.
The win means 21-year-old Sydneysider will fulfill his childhood dreams of securing a goodbye to next year’s US Masters and British Open, thanks to his steely determination in Sunday’s nine defenders.
Crowe started the day two shots clear, but fought a three-for-39 in the first half.
He followed his Chinese playmate Bo Jin by three shots on the turn, before reducing the gap to just one shot after the 16th.
A double bogey from Bo at Crowe’s par at the island hole on the 17th put the Aussie in the lead, and after Bo restored the pressure by making a par four at 18, Crowe cooly rolled into a three-foot par putt for secure the title.
“It’s unbelievable right now,” said Crowe, who finished tied 72 against Bo’s 71.
“I came here this week with something to prove and I am extremely proud of myself for how I resisted today.
“It took a long time to dig there. I had a great conversation with my father, my coach and my manager, which helped me. I’m just very proud of myself.
“It’s really surreal. Having my father and so many family and friends here today is great. “
Crowe, who joined Antonio Murdaca in 2014 and Curtis Luck in 2016 as the only Australians to win this event, lost his opening lead with a nervous front nine marred by bogeys five in the first, fourth and ninth.
But the reigning NSW Open champion, NSW Amateur, Victorian Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs proved his fighting skills with those wins last summer, and this occasion was no exception.
Suddenly he found the form with the putter to produce a birdie hat-trick at 11-13, then showed his excitement after scoring another birdie putt at 15 for a head share.
His five-out-of-16 bogeyman, however, got Bo back in the lead, before his rival found water for his double-out-of-17 bogeyman which ultimately proved decisive.