Queensland younger gun Jed Morgan, whose mentors embody Ricky Ponting, has opened up a sizeable lead on the Australian PGA.
Jed Morgan will undertake the “aggressive” angle of his mentor, former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, in trying to win the Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.
Morgan shot a course document eight-under 63 within the second spherical to steer the event at 14-under by six pictures from Andrew Dodt, who shot a spherical of 66 on Friday.
Overnight chief Louis Dobbelaar failed to enhance on his first-round seven-under, taking pictures an even-par 71 within the second spherical to be seven strokes adrift of fellow Queenslander Morgan.
“There’s plenty of guys ahead of me that have thought about winning and gone on to win, so (there’s) no reason I can’t do it,” Morgan stated on the prospect of lifting the Joe Kirkwood Cup on Sunday.
A former Australian newbie champion, Morgan in 2020 turned the primary golfer to earn a Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship.
With that got here the mentorship of Ponting and Australian baseball legend Graeme Lloyd, a two-time World Series winner with the New York Yankees.
“I don’t know if I take too many words or phrases from people, but I just more take how they (Ponting and Lloyd) act,” Morgan stated.
“They’re just both aggressive people, especially when they’re competing, and that’s how you’ve got to be.”
Morgan has additionally taken recommendation from star Australian golfer Cam Smith, the winner of final week’s PGA Tour Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
As a part of the Cameron Smith Scholarship, Morgan, in addition to Dobbelaar, stayed at Smith’s Florida residence on a 2018 journey that additionally included 4 rounds of golf and a fishing expedition.
“As I’ve gotten to know him a little bit more, he continues just to get better with his view on things,” Morgan stated of Smith.
“He’s really good at advice. He’s pretty smart in terms of how he works.
“He doesn’t exert really much energy elsewhere apart from where it’s important, which is probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from him.”
Morgan – whose 14-under rating is the bottom 36-hole-to-par whole at an Australian PGA since Peter Senior’s two-round rating of 15-under at Coolum in 2003 – additionally has a fan in 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy, who is that this week’s area at Royal Queensland.
“He hits it miles, (has) a great head on his shoulders, (is a) really good kid, (has) got the complete game and he’s at home this week,” Ogilvy stated.
“I don’t know how many people picked him but everybody probably should have. He should have been in the top two or three in the conversation.”
Ogilvy likened Morgan’s two-round efficiency to that of a then 21-year-old Greg Norman’s profitable effort on the 1976 West Lakes Classic in Adelaide.
It was Norman’s first victory as skilled.
“My parents have been dining out forever that they saw Greg win the West Lakes Classic in 1976,” former world No.3 Ogilvy stated.
“Nobody knew who he was, and he turned up and he won, and the rest is history.
“That goes here. Jed might be Greg Norman.”
A rusty Ogilvy missed the reduce by one stroke after rounds of 72 and 73 left him at three-over par.
“It’s pretty average but I haven’t really played very much,” stated Ogilvy, who has contested simply 4 official tournaments prior to now two years.
“My body’s a bit out of shape. Sitting down at a desk doing zoom meetings for the last two years hasn’t really done my golf any favours.
“There was a lot of good stuff. I played better (on Thursday). I had a bit of a sore neck (on Friday) and I had a little bit of a headache because of that so it was a little bit weird.”
Tournament drawcard Min Woo Lee shot a one-under 70 on Friday to maneuver to four-under after two rounds.
Meanwhile, Jarryd Felton was disqualified from the event after signing an incorrect scorecard.