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’ yesterday.

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 McKibbin 2 up 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 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 down.

“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 4 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 Golf Club member missing a seven-footer down the hill at the 10th to remain 4 down.

Only McKibbin went up-and-down out of a bunker on the par-3 11th as the margin was back to three 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 down.

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 dreamt of last night.

– Justin Falconer


Charlotte Heath became the first Brit in 24 years and only the fifth in the 126-year history to win the Australian Women’s Amateur – and she did it in spectacular style.

Heath, who hails from Huddersfield Golf Club in the UK, was unstoppable throughout the 31-hole showdown against Indonesia’s Mela Putri on her way to a 7&6 victory.

The Englishwoman was dominant when the contest was on the line, winning or halving the first 20 holes.

“It was a bit stressful and I was super nervous to start with,” the England golf squad member said.

“I got off to quite a quick start so that helped and then the second 18 she started playing really good so it was a really intense match.”

Heath found momentum early, jumping out of the blocks to a 4-up lead in the opening nine holes.

Birdies on 10, 12 and 13 extended her buffer to seven as Putri lost her touch with the putter that took her from a playoff just to qualify for the matchplay phase all the way to the women’s final.

There were few concerns for the 18-year-old over lunch with an eight-hole lead in her pocket, the highlight coming soon after when Heath holed out for eagle from the par-4 third fairway.

Heath’s 5-iron from 160 metres “just ran into the hole”, taking the Yorkshirewoman to 10 up for the first time.

Putri was eventually able to stem the bleeding with a spirited fightback, the Indonesian winning four of the next five holes after her opponent’s flash of brilliance, including a chip-in of her own for eagle on the par-5 seventh.

“I made two bogeys and then she made two birdies so I dropped quite a few,” Heath said, “But then just kind of kept my head and kept going.”

But another birdie on 10 for Heath and a halve on the 11th meant the writing was on the wall for Putri, the match coming to its inevitable conclusion on the 31st hole.

World No.229 Heath rammed home a sublime 12-footer from off the green at the short par-4 12th to snatch a half and write her name into the Australian Amateur record books.

The victory is Heath’s first in a national championship and just her third anywhere in the world, after two previous wins back home.

In only her second trip to Australia, Heath will now play in next month’s Women’s Australian Open and the Vic Open.

With aspirations to turn pro after college, starts at two of the country’s largest professional women’s events, both sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, will be a dream come true.

Provided she can get out of school.

“I’ve never played in any (LPGA) events before, so hopefully I can get it off school,” Heath said.

“My mum is working on it…”

– Kirsty Wrice