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Morgan leads 11 Aussies in bid to enjoy LIV riches

3 minute read

Eleven Australian golfers will be among a global field in Abu Dhabi seeking one of the three lucrative places in the LIV Golf League in 2024.

CAMERON SMITH.
CAMERON SMITH. Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jed Morgan is out to retain his place in the LIV Golf League while 10 of his Australian colleagues will also be seeking to book a place on the lucrative 2024 Saudi-based global tour at a special one-off event in the UAE this week.

The LIV Golf Promotions tournament, taking place over three days at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, will feature more than 70 players, including rising stars, winners on other tours and one major champion (Jason Dufner), all seeking three places on the Saudi money-go-round.

The 11 Australians will be headed by Morgan, who won the Australian PGA Championship in January last year but who was relegated from the LIV Golf League at the end of the recently-concluded 2023 season after a disappointing campaign.

The Brisbane golfer was part of the all-Australian 'Rippers GC' team featuring Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones and is determined to rejoin them in 2024.

He knows the financial rewards of playing in the league, having picked up a cool $US1,966,250 ($A3.0 million) in prize money in 2023, despite having had a poor individual campaign.

"Playing alongside Cam, Leish and Jonesy this past year was an unbelievable experience, both personally and professionally," said Morgan.

"Helping the team win in Bedminster (in the US in August), playing in front of a home crowd in Adelaide and sharing those memories with the guys are highlights that are tough to beat.

"I couldn't quite put together the consistent play I wanted to, but I learned a lot from the season and I know what I'm capable of. Obviously, the goal is to return to the Rippers, so I know what I've got to do in Abu Dhabi."

Morgan and his 43-year-old compatriot Wade Ormsby, who won an Asian Tour International Series event in Thailand this year, have both been given the advantage of a bye through to the second round of the event on Saturday.

Ormsby, who played much of the first year of the league in 2022, is motivated by the chance of playing in the LIV Adelaide event next year.

"That's one that I'd love to play," said the South Australian.

"I was a bit disappointed I didn't get to play around the Grange last year. That was my home course growing up as a junior, so would have been fantastic to play there. But I've got my opportunity this week, if I can do good enough and get one of those three cards, I'll be there."

Another veteran Australian seeking his place on tour will be Scott Hend, the 50-year-old who's won 16 tournaments down the years, mostly on the Asian Tour.

"To come here and try and possibly get a LIV card, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Hend.

"It's a special opportunity for a guy, especially my age, so I'm looking forward to the week, and I think it's great with a variety of international players here trying to get on to the tour."

THE 11 AUSTRALIANS SEEKING TO QUALIFY FOR LIV GOLF LEAGUE IN ABU DHABI:

Lachlan Barker, Austin Bautista, Andrew Dodt, Scott Hend, Brendan Jones, Zach Murray, Ryan Ruffels, Travis Smyth, Kevin Yuan, Jed Morgan, Wade Ormsby.

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