A week after scoring records were smashed at the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, one of Australia’s biggest championships was also won in record-breaking fashion.
Jediah Morgan, a 22-year-old Aussie who was making just his fourth start as a professional, won the Australian PGA Championship by 11 shots on Sunday, wrapping up the 72-hole event at Royal Queensland Golf Club in 22 under.
Morgan entered the final day with a nine-shot advantage and wishing to reach 25 under. He fell a few shots shy after a 2-under 69, though he did set a new record for lowest 72-hole total, his 262 besting the previous mark of 266, which was set by Nick O’Hern and Peter Lonard in 2006 (O’Hern won a four-hole playoff that year). Morgan’s 22-under score in relation to par equaled O’Hern and Lonard that year.
Morgan’s 11-shot winning margin was also a new Australian PGA record, three shots better than Greg Norman (1984 and 1985) and Hale Irwin (1978), and at 22 years, one month and 18 days old, Morgan was more than a year younger than the previous youngest championship winner in the event’s stroke-play era (David Howell, 1998).
“I wanted to just make the cut this week,” said Morgan, a Brisbane native who won the 2020 Australian Amateur at Royal Queensland, where he is a member. “I know that’s a low kind of shot to shoot at, but it was all reality. I felt a lot of pressure, especially on myself, obviously being a member here and having won the Australian Amateur here and stuff. I missed a couple of tour schools in the U.S. toward the end of my trip and come back a little bit with my tail between my legs.
“I’d never imagine this happening to be honest with you.”
Full-field scores from the Australian PGA Championship
Morgan’s next closest challenger was runner-up Andrew Dodt at 11 under. Louis Dobbelaar was third at 10 under while Min Woo Lee and Brad Kennedy shared fourth at 9 under. Su Oh won the women’s division.
Despite the dominating victory, Morgan admits he was still nervous.
“I’ve been feeling sick for like three days, especially after I was leading after two rounds,” said Morgan, who opened in 65-63, the latter score being a course record. “I thought, there’s no way back from there. I tried to press as hard as I could and tried to keep pushing it. It’s been amazing what’s happened. I’m glad it’s over. Whether I won or lost, I’m just glad it’s over because I’ve been in all sorts, for sure.
“I’ve never had that type of emotion. I’ve felt pressure for sure, but I’ve never felt pressure like the way I felt it this week. It was something. I want to do it again.”