Australia’s hottest new golfing star Jed Morgan has committed to playing the Vic Open on the Bellarine Peninsula next month, giving the field a vibrant look.
Queenslander Morgan, 22, emerged as a potential superstar of the sport when he dominated the field at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland last week, and he will tee it up at 13th Beach Golf Links from February 10-13 chasing more glory and fame.
The 2020 Australian Men’s Amateur champion smashed the tournament’s record winning margin, eclipsing a strong field by 11 shots to wipe no less a legend than Greg Norman (who twice won the PGA by nine shots) out of the record books. Morgan also equalled the tournament record for score in relation to par with his 22-under total for the week.
Now he is hellbent on making sure that he wins the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australia Order of Merit title, an honour that would afford him full playing rights on the DP World Tour for the 2022-23 season, and the Vic Open will provide him with another key opportunity to close the deal.
Morgan was the leading amateur at the 2020 Vic Open, finishing seventh overall.
RIGHT: Grace Kim has consistently impressed since turning pro and will once again have a chance to win at home at the Vic Open. PHOTO: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.
“I’m really excited to be playing the Vic Open again,” said Morgan. “I played pretty well at 13th a couple of years ago and I loved the courses. They’re so cool and the event itself has a great vibe to it with the mixed gender field.
“Apart from that there is the Order of Merit that I’m thinking about, because the chance to take my game to Europe is something that I would love. That means I need to keep playing well and capitalise on my form on the course.”
Australia has a cluster of fine young players around the world and the field at 13th Beach next month also has been bolstered by the presence of another budding superstar in Sydney’s Grace Kim.
The New South Wales rookie pro was runner-up last weekend at the Fortinet Australian WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland behind Su Oh.
Kim, 21, has had a stunning start to her professional career as well, having taken the plunge just four months ago.
Hailing from Avondale Golf Club, Kim is an Australian Amateur Champion (2021) and also won the Australian Junior Amateur in a superb amateur career, and she intends travelling to the United States in 2022 to take up some starts on the Symetra Tour.
"I loved the courses. They’re so cool and the event itself has a great vibe to it." - Jed Morgan.
“We’re all so glad that the Vic Open is coming back,” said Kim. “It’s such a cool event to play in and everyone knows that the mixed format really has taken off around the world after it started at that event.
“I’m just loving my time as a pro now. It’s just so much fun getting out there and competing alongside my friends and fellow pros after the year or so that we’ve all had. I’ll be trying my best to get my first pro win, that’s for sure.”
Kim will be competing against the likes of major champion Hannah Green, while Morgan will also have to take on a major champion in Geoff Ogilvy.
The Vic Open will be part of both the WPGA Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia. It will be a highlight of a fascinating string of men’s and women’s events that includes the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, and WPGA Championship played last weekend, and four legs of the Webex Players Series.
Prizemoney has been set at a minimum of $820,000, with equal prize pools of $410,000 each for men and women. Fields of 144 men and 72 women will start on the Thursday, with the top 35 men and 35 women and ties making it through to the Sunday. Entry is free and it will be broadcast over the four days on Fox Sports and Kayo.