Jed Morgan in action this morning – photo Bruce Young
22-year-old Jed Morgan stole the show on the second morning of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane, the local golfer racing six shots clear of the morning field at the completion of his second round of 63, less than two months after turning professional.
While just beginning life in the paid ranks, Morgan has a stellar amateur career behind him, having won the Australian Amateur Championship on this same golf course nearly two years ago.
After spending several months in the US this year to complete his amateur career, he turned professional in November although he had already earned his PGA Tour of Australasia playing rights earlier in the year.
Raised in Hatton Vale west of Brisbane, Morgan now lives in Brisbane, joining the Gailes Golf Club before becoming a member at Royal Queensland and he retains membership at both golf courses although plays mainly at Royal Queensland when home.
He is an engaging character and has created a lot of friendships at Royal Queensland, many of whom were on the golf course early this morning to witness his spectacular round of 63 to go with his opening of 65.
He spoke after his round of the fondness he has for Royal Queensland and why he is performing so well here. “For one, the members are out here and my family’s out here cheering me on, which is probably the biggest thing. I’ve obviously played here more times than I can remember and obviously won the Amateur here, which is nice to have that behind me.
“But yeah, it suits my eye off the tee and once you know where to hit it and what spots to hit it to, you just do that and hopefully it all works out and today it did.”
Nines of 31 and 32 added up to his round of 63, three birdies in a row to complete his opening nine establishing momentum for his back nine. It could have been even better as he thought his tee shot at the par 3 8th (his 17th) was going in.
“I nearly holed it on 17 which is my eighth hole and I’m a bit annoyed it didn’t go in, because I haven’t had a hole in one, but it went to about half a foot. It was nice; probably the best one.”
Morgan is enjoying the opportunity of a home game so to speak, given that he resides in Brisbane. “Yeah, it’s good. It’s in your own backyard. I’m in my own bed tonight, which is nice. I think it’s just good for everybody to be here from every state and hopefully the trend from this tournament I think can be taken forward into the rest of the year and stop cancelling everything hopefully, so hopefully we keep playing as much as we can and hopefully the Tour just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Morgan spent time with his fellow Queenslander, Cameron Smith while in the US to play amateur events last year and he explained just what he had gained from the experience.
“He’s got an awesome look on things. As I’ve gotten to know him a little bit more, he continues just to get better with his view on things. He’s really good at giving advice. He’s pretty smart in terms of how he works and stuff. He doesn’t exert really much energy elsewhere apart from where it’s important, which is probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from him.”
His response to the question about whether he had thought about the possibility of winning this week was interesting. Many young players in his position would provide the stock standard answer of saying that they would just take it one shot at a time but Morgan was not backing away from the question.
“I’m definitely thinking about it. It’s pretty hard not to if you’re leading, so, it’s part of it. There’s plenty of guys ahead of me that have thought about winning and gone on to win, so no reason I can’t do it.”
The afternoon field faced slightly breezier conditions and a firming golf course and so the remarkable six shot advantage Morgan had created appeared unlikely to be seriously threatened and so it would prove.