LA QUINTA, Calif., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Englishman John Morgan fired a 3-under-par 69 Saturday to take the lead after four rounds of the six-round PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.
Morgan, at 15-under-par 273, held a one-stroke advantage over Scott Laycock (66) and a two-stroke cushion over Anthony Painter (68).
Morgan made four birdies and one bogey at the PGA West's TPC Stadium Course, which along with the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course is hosting the tournament.
"This is just unbelievable," said Morgan. "This is what we call the pinnacle of a player's career. I mean, I'm leading the U.S. tour school. What the heck is going on?"
Morgan is hoping to add a PGA Tour card to his European Tour card already earned for the 2003 season.
"I would assume having my European Tour card takes some of the pressure off," said Morgan. "Everybody wants to play over here, but it is nice having a place to play if you don't succeed."
Laycock stayed within shouting distance of Morgan with a 6-under-par 66, thanks to a 4-under-par 32 on his back nine.
"To be perfectly honest, it's never been a huge goal of mine to play on the PGA Tour," said the native Australian. "But the past couple of seasons I've been playing really nicely. So I thought why not try on the big stage over here and give it a go."
Chris Anderson shot a 69 despite a double bogey at the sixth hole to stand at 12-under 276. Brian Bateman (68), James McLean (70), David Sutherland (69) and Donnie Hammond (69) were tied for fifth place at 11-under-par 277.
Third-round leader Dean Wilson (77), while still safely in the top-35, struggled to a 5-over-par 77 and was tied for 11th place.
The top 35 players and ties will earn their card for the 2003 season. Other players of note included Bob May (tied for 18th), Brett Quigley (T18), Tommy Tolles (T29), Steve Pate (T34), Woody Austin (T37), Mike Heinen (T37), Mark Hensby (T37), Casey Martin (T37) and Brandel Chamblee (T50).