Jed Morgan will play in his first majors, this year’s US Open and Open Championship, after securing the Norman Von Nida Medal as the Order of Merit champion on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
The talented Queenslander, just 22, was confirmed as the winner by the PGA Australia Chair Rodger Davis, with an unassailable lead ahead of the Tailor-Made Building Services NT PGA Championship, the final event of the tour.
The rising star of Australian golf earned just over $190,000 for the season, with the PGA of Australia ensuring the Norman Von Nida Medalist would have automatic entry to the US Open at Brookline Country Club next month, and the Open Championship at St Andrews in July.
For the first time ever, Morgan will form one of three players on the PGA Tour of Australasia to gain a DP World Tour playing card, with the top three placed on the Order of Merit gaining exemption.
The 2022-23 DP World Tour season will begin at Morgan’s hometown Brisbane in November at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland, the same event that he won in stunning fashion earlier this year.
The Major Championships and DP World Tour opportunities are substantial for a player who has only been a professional for less than a year, capping off a stellar rise to prominence for the Golf Australia rookie squad member and the 2020 Australian Amateur champion.
The Norman Von Nida Medal, struck in honour of one of Australia’s greatest professional players, is awarded each year to the Order of Merit champion on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
The final Order of Merit placings offer a significant carrot for those in contention, with everything to play for at the NT PGA Championship at Palmerston this weekend.
Blake Windred (NSW) currently sits in second with a $14,055 buffer to third placed Andrew Dodt (Queensland), with the likes of Dimi Papadatos (NSW), Louis Dobbelaar (Queensland) and seventh-placed Aaron Pike (NT) all a chance of leaping into the top three in Darwin to claim European status.
The top five on the Order of Merit list are also given exemptions into the final stage of Korn Ferry Tour qualifying school in the United States this year, so there is plenty on the line this weekend at the NT PGA.
“This is something that I’m going to treasure forever,” Morgan said today.
“Obviously as a young player I’m heading away to follow my dreams and I’m focused on what is ahead of me, but to win an Order Of Merit is something special, I know, and the opportunities that it provides for me are priceless.
“I’m thankful to the PGA for this and I hope that I can justify it by playing well. I’ll certainly by trying hard and I can’t wait to get to America and then to Scotland to play in those majors. Clearly it’s been a massive change in my career and in my life and I’ll always be grateful for getting this kickstart.”
PGA of Australia Chair Rodger Davis said Morgan’s situation epitomised what the PGA Tour of Australasia was trying to achieve when it reached agreement with the DP World Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour about the benefits of Order Of Merit placings.
“We’re trying to create the pathways for these great young players to walk through and chase the world. We have sensational talent in Australia, Jed’s a perfect example of that.
“What he did at Royal Queensland winning by 11 shots is exceptional. So what he needs is to be given opportunities, and as a Tour, we’re working hard to create those opportunities, not just for Jed, but for all our players.
“We bat above in terms of population to high quality golfers, and it’s critical for us to form these alliances with the DP World Tour so that we can keep producing some of the best players in world golf,” he said.
ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit (through WA Open)
1. Jediah Morgan $190,408.77
2. Blake Windred $125,285.83
3. Andrew Dodt* $111,230.70
4. Dimitrios Papadatos* $110,261
5. Anthony Quayle $97,217.33
6. Louis Dobbelaar* $96,691.10
7. Aaron Pike* $93,480.83
8. Brad Kennedy $85,985
9. Jarryd Felton $78,775
10. Daniel Gale* $77,901.88
* In the field for NT PGA Championship
Source: Martin Blake, Australian Golf Media Team