14 Oct 2020 | Amateur golf |

Morgan earns scholarship, Ponting his mentor

by Mark Hayes

jed morgan ricky ponting SAHOF_image

Queenslander Jed Morgan has become the first golfer to earn a prized Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship.

Morgan was today announced as one of six “tier one” athletes for 2021, with each to receive $10,000 and access to a personal mentor throughout next year.

And while the reigning Australian Amateur champion was delighted with the prize, he was even more excited with having former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting – also a golf nut – as his mentor.

“To be granted the opportunity to have access to someone who has achieved high success is priceless, especially from someone like Ricky,” Morgan said.

“As golf can be such an individual sport, sometimes it’s hard to find answers on how to deal with challenges as you must rely on yourself.

“I feel Ricky will be able to help me understand myself and my situation a lot better.

“In turn, this will help me success more in life as a whole and eventually help others.”

Ponting, who has scored the second most runs in Test history, captained Australia to two World Cup victories and played in another, was excited to get on course with Morgan.

“As an elite cricketer, I was always fiercely determined and driven to succeed,” Ponting said.

“As a mentor, I’m excited to impart this passion for success on Jed and as an avid golfer myself, it’s a privilege to be able to share the course with such an impressively talented young player.”

#185: Jed Morgan meets his mentor Ricky Ponting...

The SAHOF scholarship, in its 15th year, has already helped Australia produce a raft of champion athletes across a range of sports.

Dani Samuels, Patty Mills, Liz Cambage and Dylan Alcott are among the broad range of champions who’ve been helped by the widely lauded program.

A total of 32 young athletes from around Australia will receive scholarships this year, with other tier one winners including Molly Picklum (surfing, NSW, aged 17), Josie Baff (snowboarding, NSW, 17), Ari Gesini (para-athletics, ACT, 17,) Marissa Williamson (boxing, VIC, 18) and Oliver Moran (BMW, NSW, 18).

SAHOF scholarship and mentoring program chair Sue Stanley said more scholarships, worth $5,000 and $2,500 each, will be announced in coming days. “The scholarship and mentoring program continues to grow exponentially and we are so proud to expand this program to provide six amazing Australian junior athletes access to our SAHOF members,” said Stanley, the multiple world aerobics champion.

“We are excited to assist these athletes over the next 14 months on their road to success both in life and sport.”

Morgan, 20, originally from Hatton Vale, west of Brisbane, is in his fourth year with the Queensland Academy of Sport.

After an impressive 2019, the powerful right-hander won the national amateur crown in January at one of his home clubs, Royal Queensland. He was then medallist at the NSW Amateur and then showed his promise among some of the world’s top pros as the leading amateur at the Vic Open, a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour. Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland was excited for Morgan, but also that SAHOF had chosen a golfer for the first time.

“This is outstanding news for Jed, who’s been exemplary as both elite competitor and community member,” Sutherland said.  “This is Jed’s moment, but it’s also a carrot for younger golfers to know their talents can be recognised in the broad church of Australian sport. “And for Jed to have access to Ricky is icing on the cake; there are few more accomplished athletes than Ricky and with a combination of his international experience and passion for golf, Jed couldn’t have a better mentor and mine of competitive information.”

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