Jed Morgan eyes historic Aust PGA win

Jed Morgan takes a whopping nine-shot lead into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship.
Jed Morgan takes a whopping nine-shot lead into the final round of the Australian PGA Championship.

Greenhorn professional Jed Morgan's plan is to simply increase his lead after setting up a staggering nine-shot advantage as he eyes a historic win in the Australian PGA Championship.

The 22-year-old's bogey on the 18th was his only blemish in a six-under 65 on Saturday to reach 20-under and put daylight between him and nearest rival Andrew Dodt (11-under) going into the final round.

On his home course, Royal Queensland, Morgan showed no weariness after Friday's course-record 63, staving off Dodt's hot start and lapping up the attention with every birdie putt that dropped.

He'll begin Sunday with a historic Australian PGA Championship winning margin in his sights, Greg Norman one of two men to win by eight shots - Norman doing it twice in back-to-back 1984-85 victories.

Morgan is also on track to beat Nick O'Hern and Peter Lonard's 2006 record of 22-under for the tournament's lowest score against par.

It was Norman who Geoff Ogilvy referenced when discussing Morgan's record-breaking round on Friday in an open field shouting out for a fresh face to announce themselves.

Ogilvy recalled when then-unknown Norman first made a big splash by winning the 1976 West Lakes Classic by five shots in just his fourth pro tournament.

Mentored by Ricky Ponting, Morgan said the cricket great's aggressive mindset would come in handy in front of thousands of supporters on Sunday.

"That was the biggest worry after having a good round yesterday, to go out and almost play better is pretty cool," he said of Saturday's effort.

"It's nice (to lead by nine), but anything happens in golf ... it makes me just want to win by more if I can."

Dodt birdied the 18th to sneak into the final group with Morgan, ahead of David Micheluzzi who had five straight birdies on the back nine to finish 10-under.

"Is it do-able? Nine shots, that's a lot on his home course, in front of home fans," Dodt said.

"It's about knowing when to go at it but nine back, you've got to be a little bit aggressive and I'll try and feed off him a little bit."

The tournament, won most-recently by Adam Scott and Cameron Smith before that, is missing Australia's US-based stars after being postponed from its traditional late-year start due to COVID-19.

The winner will receive $180,000, starts in three DP World Tour events in July-August and all but guarantee status on the European tour as a top-three finisher on the Australasian Tour's order of merit.

Australian Associated Press