Australian PGA history at the mercy of Morgan

Australian PGA history at the mercy of Morgan

Rookie professional Jed Morgan has two long-standing championship records in his sights after taking complete control of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship on Saturday.

The only question prior to Round 3 was how well a six-shot lead would sit on the broad shoulders of a young man playing just his fourth event as a professional.

His closest rival – both physically and on the leaderboard – Andrew Dodt narrowed the gap to five at the opening hole but that would be as close as anyone would get on day three at Royal Queensland Golf Club.

As the chasing pack prayed for a miracle the man whose name means ‘beloved of God’ delivered the equal best round of the day, his six-under 65 and three-round total of 20-under par putting him nine shots clear of the field.

The Australian PGA Championship 72-hole scoring record relative to par is 22-under set by both Nick O’Hern and Peter Lonard in 2006 and the tournament record winning margin of eight strokes is also at his mercy.

The first to set that mark was three-time US Open champion Hale Irwin at Royal Melbourne in 1978 and was equalled by Greg Norman in consecutive years in 1984 and 1985, Norman’s first win also coming in his fourth event as a professional.

Morgan’s day got off to an inauspicious start when he cracked the head of his driver on the range but from the time he made his first birdie at the par-4 second never once looked likely to falter.

A second birdie at the third hole extended his lead to seven and whenever Dodt looked to exert some pressure he answered with a birdie of his own and either a fist pump or a finger pointed high into the Queensland sky.

A 25-foot par save at four and a crucial putt on 15 kept Morgan from giving the challengers a sniff, his first bogey since the 13th hole on Thursday coming on his final hole of the day.


More to come