19 Jan 2020 | National Championships | Amateur golf |
#AusAm: Jed's dream day
by Golf Australia
- By Justin Falconer
If ‘the dream’ is winning your national amateur championship, on your home course, with your brother on the bag, family by your side and a swarm of fellow members willing you on for seven straight hours, then Jed Morgan lived ‘the dream’ on Sunday.
The Royal Queensland member ensured the Australian Amateur Championship trophy won’t be leaving our shores for the first time in three years. In fact, it might not leave the clubhouse.
After 33 gruelling holes, 20-year-old Morgan wrapped up a 5&3 win over Northern Irish prodigy Tom McKibbin for the biggest win of his life.
“You have no idea how badly I wanted to win today. No idea,” said Morgan, whose beaming smile survived the long walk back to the clubhouse.
“I had a lot of the members and my whole family here and my little brother on the bag.
“I couldn’t have had more fun.”
It was nothing but fun for the first 12 holes, Morgan leading 2-UP on McKibbin after six, before tripling that advantage to be 6-UP by the time the pair were standing on the 13th tee.
But as a blowout threatened, 17-year-old McKibbin steeled himself and won the 15th thanks to a lengthy lag putt up the par-5’s green.
Morgan hadn’t dropped a shot all day but he couldn’t get to the clubhouse unscathed, the Queenslander blasting his approach over the green on his way to bogey, meaning McKibbin would enter the break just 4-DN.
“The demons kicked in a little bit then, I’m not going to lie,” Morgan said.
“I went in the locker room before I played the second round and told myself ‘You’re four up, mate. You’ve got a head start so get going’.”
He probably didn’t need the extra motivation but the solo pep talk clearly worked, Morgan screaming back to 6-UP with birdies at two, three and four.
But as Morgan said in his trophy presentation acceptance speech, McKibbin “just wouldn’t go to bed”, the rising star winning the sixth and seventh holes to draw things level since the break.
The pair traded holes on eight and nine as McKibbin threatened to close the gap, the Holywood GC member missing a seven-footer down the hill at 10 to remain 4-DN.
Only McKibbin went up-and-down out of a trap on the par-3 11th.
Suddenly the margin was back to three and McKibbin was 3-UP over the last 22 holes.
But he couldn’t repeat that effort on 12, making a second bogey for the day at Royal Queensland’s most gettable hole to fall back to 4-DN.
McKibbin rammed home his par putt on 14 from eight feet to deny the Queenslander a chance at the title before Morgan answered the call from a similar distance to redirect the pressure.
With the Northern Irishman now battling the rain, a partisan crowd and an amped-up Morgan, the scenario was four down, four to play.
McKibbin was out of position off the tee and short-sided himself in a greenside bunker for three.
From the perfect angle, Morgan pitched beautifully up the green to three feet and after a haphazard splash out of the bunker, McKibbin called time.
“The Aus Amateur's something I've always dreamed about winning,” Morgan said.
“My biggest idol Cam Smith, he won it, so to join his name on the trophy is probably one of the best things ever.”
He’s not expecting a message from Smith tonight – whose scholarship Morgan won in 2018 – because “he’s shocking on the phone”.
Most 20-year-olds would dream of a text from a two-time PGA Tour winner. Who knows what Jed Morgan will dream of tonight.
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