It’s a new week on a brand new golf course and the newest star in Australian golf is back to headline a stellar field for the Queensland PGA Championship at Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane.
Jed Morgan is still riding the high of a life-changing victory at Sunday’s Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club and will face off against many of the players he obliterated by a record 11 shots only a few days ago.
Fourteen of the top 16 finishers at the Australian PGA are backing up again this week in a tournament that has increased in prize money to $200,000 and which will be played at Nudgee’s Kurrai Golf Course, the Queensland PGA Championship serving as the first competition on the new James Wilcher design.
Joining Morgan in the field is defending champion Michael Sim, reigning ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year Brad Kennedy, six-time European Tour winner Brett Rumford and winners on tour already this season Blake Windred (Victorian PGA) and Jack Thompson (Gippsland Super 6).
It has been a whirlwind 48 hours since Morgan completed a victory that rewrote the history books. In winning the Joe Kirkwood Cup Morgan rocketed from 1,515th in the Official World Golf Rankings to 210th to this week be the highest-ranked player in the field and told the RSN Breakfast Club radio program on Tuesday morning that it has opened up a world of possibilities.
As a result of the extension of the strategic alliance between the PGA Tour of Australasia and DP World Tour, Morgan now has three events in Europe in the middle of the year to build into his schedule and, as the runaway leader of the Order of Merit, a virtually guaranteed card in Europe next year.
“I couldn’t have scripted a better start to my year and my team are pretty happy for me and so are my family. Let’s just see where I end up playing I guess,” said Morgan, who will also have the option of attending final stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School in the US.
“I don’t know if it changes my expectations. I won a pretty decent amateur tournament a couple of years ago and I think that just changes your perspective on being able to win.
“It’s such a big feat and it just doesn’t happen very often. Unless you’re Tiger Woods.
“I’m just so proud of myself and the work that I’ve done with my team. We were able to figure out a bit of a method to handle what I was feeling and run away with it which was just so sick.”
As for his first indulgence by virtue of the $180,000 winner’s cheque, the 22-year-old is looking to make a practical purchase.
“I’ve been thinking of buying a king-size bed,” he revealed.
“I’ve been wanting a bloody bigger bed so I reckon I’m going to go and get one of those bad boys.”
The Queensland PGA Championship dates back to 1926 and its honour roll boasts some of the greatest names in Australian golf.
Major champions David Graham (1967), Greg Norman (1979) and Ian Baker-Finch (1984) are all former champions as are PGA Tour winners Nathan Green (2000), Andre Stolz (2002) and Steven Bowditch (2009).
Past champions in the field this week are Stolz, Peter Fowler (1985), Brad Kennedy (2013), Daniel Nisbet (2019) and Michael Sim (2020).