e were plenty of firsts at the 2016 Wayne Grady Cup. The event was shortened to 18 holes due to inclement weather for the first time. The winner was determined after a sudden death play-off for the first time. A junior got his hands on the trophy for the first time.
On a day of tough scoring, 16-year-old Jed Morgan (Hatton Vale) emerged the champion after a strong back nine. Starting on the 1st hole, Morgan was 1 over after 13 but then reeled off birdies on the 14th and 15th before holing a bunker shot on the 16th for his third successive birdie. Two closing pars allowed him to post a round of 69 (2 under par).
He was soon tied on that score by Tristan Nicholls (Emerald Lakes) who also finished strongly. Nicholls started his round on the 9th and finished with 2 birdies over his closing 4 holes. Nicholls recently returned to Australia after completing his freshman year at West Virginia University in the United States.
The play-off began on the 18th hole with Morgan forced to chip out sideways after an errant drive. The door was open was Nicholls but he three-putted from 50 feet and the hole was halved in bogies. Play then moved to the 17th where Morgan found the front edge with his approach and safely two putted for par. Nicholls missed the green to the right and when he failed to make an 8 foot putt for par, it was all over.
The win continues a stellar 12 months for Morgan who seems to enjoy events named in honour of major champions. He won the 2015 Gary Player Classic (15 & under division), the 2015 Ian Baker-Finch Junior Classic and now the 2016 Wayne Grady Cup. He was also selected to represent Queensland at the 2016 Australian Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches.
Jarrod Stirling (Redcliffe) was the only other player to break par. He made 17 pars and a single birdie (on the 4th hole) to finish with a round of 70. Matt Toomey shot a 72 to be the low Virginian for the day – a single shot ahead of Josh Brumm. The best nett score of the day came from Ben Stieler (Brookwater) who finished with a nett 69 off a handicap of 5.
Shortening the event to 18 holes turned out to be a wise move as a heavy downpour struck the course around 2pm. Hopefully we’ll have better luck with the weather next year and the event can return to its regular 36-hole format. A huge thanks must go to the greens, kitchen, administration and pro-shop staff who all played their part in crafting another great event. We hope to see many of the players back again next year!
A full list of scores can be viewed by clicking here – 2016 Wayne Grady Cup Scores.
Full list of prize winners for 2016:
Wayne Grady Cup Champion – Jed Morgan (Hatton Vale) – 69 (on second play-off hole)
Gross runner-up – Tristan Nicholls (Emerald Lakes) – 69
Gross 3rd place – Jarrod Stirling (Redcliffe) – 70
Gross 4th place – Ryan Sevil (The Grand) – 71 ocb
Gross 5th place – Adam Hawkins (Palm Meadows) – 71
Gross 6th place – Jordan McDonald (Pelican Waters) – 72 ocb
Gross best junior – Chase Duffy (Redcliffe) – 72
Nett winner – Ben Stieler (Brookwater) – 69
Nett runner-up – Rommel Quidim (Virginia) – 71 ocb
Nett 3rd place – Matt Toomey (Virginia) – 71 ocb
Nett 4th place – Lindsay Ross (Palmer) – 71 ocb
NTP 3rd hole – Jordan McDonald
NTP 9th hole – Jacob Clarke
NTP 12th hole – Danny Boyden
NTP 14th hole – Jack Weston