Amateur golfers eye Masters ticket at Royal Melbourne


Ten Australian golfers will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Harrison Crowe after accepting invitations to compete in the 2023 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne next month.

The rewards for the winner of the four-round event from October 26-29 are enticing, with entry into next year's Masters and British Open up for grabs.

Created in 2009, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was established by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), The R&A and the Masters Tournament to further develop amateur golf in the Asia-Pacific region.

The champion will receive invitations to compete in the 2024 Masters at Augusta National and the 152nd Open at Royal Troon, while the runner-up will gain a place in final qualifying for The Open.

Crowe, whose video of him hitting off the cobbled path outside a St Andrews pub and onto the 18th green at the Old Course went viral, went from You Tube sensation to major championship player after winning last year's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand.

As the host nation this year, Australia will lead the list of 41 countries represented with 10 players in the field.

The Australian invitees are Jeffrey Guan, Jack Buchanan, Lukas Michel, Connor Fewkes, Quinnton Croker, Max Charles, Harry Bolton, Jye Pickin, Jasper Stubbs and Harry Takis.

Michel believes there are plenty of potential winners amongst the Australian contingent and is looking forward to taking on Royal Melbourne's Composite layout.

"I marked it on the calendar pretty much when it got announced and became official at last year's event," he said.

"I've never played the Composite Course at Royal Melbourne, which is the best 18 holes in Australia, probably by a fair margin, so it was on the highest of lists of tournaments to play."

Players from 41 APGC member organisations have accepted invitations with 118 players confirmed for the 120-strong field.

Notable past competitors include 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, a two-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur, and 2022 British Open champion Cameron Smith.

Over its 14-year history, the Asia-Pacific Amateur has served as a springboard to some of the world's top players, including Matsuyama, Smith, Cam Davis, Ryan Fox, Lucas Herbert, Si Woo Kim, Satoshi Kodaira, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Min Woo Lee and CT Pan.

Collectively, alumni of the Asia-Pacific Amateur have gone on to win 24 tournaments on the PGA Tour to date and more than 120 across the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.