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Amateur Crowe beats pros to win NSW Open

Young Sydney amateur Harrison Crowe has underlined his immense potential by holding off his professional challengers to win the $400,000 NSW Open golf championship.

Remarkably, 20-year-old Crowe had just one bogey blemish in his three rounds of a weather-reduced tournament and he won at 18-under 195 at Concord in Sydney on Sunday.

A joint overnight leader, the fearless youngster shot a closing four-under 67 to win by one shot from NSW professional Blake Windred, who roared home with a 64 and collected the top prize cheque of more than $70,000 while Crowe lifted the Kel Nagle Trophy.

Long-hitting Crowe has been on a tear, winning the NSW Amateur title, Victorian Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs earlier this year and didn’t lack confidence in his ability to win among the pros.

“Absolutely. It’s at the front of the mind, not the back of the mind,” said Crowe when asked about the possibility after opening with back-to-back 64s before Saturday’s play was washed out.

“I came out here this week not to just make the cut or a top-10. I wanted to win.”

Despite opening the final round with three straight birdies and covering the front nine in five-under 30, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Crowe as he took his lone bogey on the 10th and couldn’t buy a putt thereafter as the challenges mounted while he parred his way home.

“I just tried to keep my head screwed on,” said Crowe, who reckoned he’d never felt so nervous as he did on the last two holes.

“I can’t describe it. So good.

“The support on the golf course was unbelievable.”

Crowe became just the sixth amateur to win in history of the NSW Open adding his name to the trophy alongside some greats such as major winners Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Kel Nagle.

He became the first amateur to hold both the NSW Open and Amateur crowns concurrently since the great Jim Ferrier did in 1937 and 1938.

Asked if he was tempted to bring forward any plans to turn professional, he said: “I think we will leave that decision for tomorrow – or the day after.”

Jordan Zunic (NSW) and Western Australia’s Jarryd Felton tied third, two shots behind Crowe, after closing 67s.

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