• Pips Glenbervie's Graeme Robertson to the title by one shot
• Is now eyeing a place in the GB&I Walker Cup squad
Rising star Marco Penge hopes to have given Walker Cup selectors something to think about after claiming his first Men’s amateur title at the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship.
The 17-year-old took advantage of the flat calm conditions at Moray GC during the third round on Sunday morning to reach eight-under-par, before battling bravely in the final round as the wind whipped across the renowned Old Course.
With a host of leading names in the hunt for the title, including Scottish trio Graeme Robertson, Ewen Ferguson and Jack McDonald, the youngster kept them at bay – helped by a decisive eagle at the par-5 17th – to close with a two-over-par 73 for a six-under-par winning total.
"Hopefully I have given the selectors something to think about" - Marco Penge
“I played in similar weather at the Irish Amateur, so I guess I’m used to it,” said Marco Penge, who plays out of Golf at Goodwood in West Sussex. “I actually feel I like those conditions as it makes you battle and keep your head mentally. It’s my first win at Men’s amateur level, so I’m progressing.
“Playing in the Walker Cup was my goal at the start of the season so hopefully I have given the selectors something to think about.”
Glenbervie’s Robertson, who is in the provisional Walker Cup squad ahead of September’s clash with the US at Royal Lytham, finished runner-up on five-under after a brave bid, with another Walker Cup squad man, Ireland’s Cormac Sharvin, taking third spot a stroke further back.
Robertson (above), who posted a brilliant 66 in round three – matching the course record which was broken by Australia’s Lucas Herbert with a 65 – was helped by a chip-in for an eagle two at the ninth as he attempted to become the first Scottish winner since 2008.
Penge, who won the Fairhaven Trophy as a 15-year-old in 2013, joins an impressive list of past champions including victorious Ryder Cup captains Bernard Gallacher and Colin Montgomerie, as well as current European Tour stars Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay, Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan.
Bearsden’s Ferguson, twice a domestic winner in 2015, was four strokes behind going into the final round, but his hopes drifted on the wind after a closing 76 as he shared fourth with Herbert, Switzerland’s Mathias Eggenberger and English pair Tom Sloman and Callum MacKay.
Picture credit: Kenny Smith
Marco Penge :: Next big thing?
After his maiden Men’s amateur title at Moray, what’s next for Marco Penge? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.