CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Harrison Crowe, a winner already this year on the PGA Tour of Australasia, handled the windy conditions Saturday for a 5-under 67 at the Asia-Pacific Amateur — giving the 21-year-old Australian a two-shot lead going into the final round.
At stake for Crowe is a chance to compete against the pros again, this time at Augusta National and Royal Liverpool. The winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur earns a spot in next year's Masters and the British Open.
Crowe was at 13-under 203, two shots ahead of Minhyung Song of South Korea (68) and Bo Jin of China, who had a 71. Jin, a junior at Oklahoma State who has been the 36-hole leader each of the last two years, is trying to join his older brother as a champion of the elite amateur in Asia.
The windy conditions at Amata Springs Country Club got the best of Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat, the 15-year-old Thai star. He had a 76 and fell eight shots behind. Chantananuwat, like Crowe, has won this year on the six main tours of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Crowe, who plans to turn pro soon, is No. 43 in the world amateur ranking and one of the more promising Aussies coming through the ranks. In March, he won the New South Wales Open, which is a 54-hole event that features mainly Australians. He won by one shot over Blake Windred, who since has played in the 54-hole LIV Golf events.
A victory Sunday might change Crowe's plans. The winner gets an invitation to the Masters, provided he is still an amateur.
“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," Crowe said.
Key for Crowe was saving par on the 14th with an 18-foot putt after an errant drive.
“The last two rounds I have played well before making some mistakes coming in. It could have gone a similar way," Crowe said.
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