Prodigious golfing talent Marco Penge pulled off the biggest win of his fledgling career by lifting the boys Fairhaven Trophy.
Marco, who turned 15 on Wednesday, gave himself the best possible early birthday present by clawing back a six-shot deficit on the final day at Fairhaven, Lancashire.
The England Under-18 player then had to hold his nerve to win a four-hole play-off against joint leader Bradley Neil from Scotland to win the prestigious trophy.
A delighted Marco said: “The Fairhaven Trophy is known as one of the majors in the junior game so that makes it the biggest win I have had so far. I wasn’t expecting to win it, I was hoping to finish in the top ten so it was something of a shock.
“But my coach has always said I have the game to win events like these and now I’ve proved that.”
The Forest Boys School pupil began the final round a huge six shots behind clear favourite Neil, but a fine 71 saw him share the top spot on level par 288.
The pair traded birdies in the play-off to go into the 18th hole level pegging, and when Neil made a bogey six Marco capitalised to par the hole and take the winner’s trophy.
This break-through victory continued Marco’s fine start to the season, and makes up for the slight disappointment of finishing sixth at the Mcevoy trophy - another ‘major’ - having led after three rounds.
“Hopefully now I’ve won this event if I get back into that position again I’ll now know what to do,” added the Worthing Golf Club member who se current handicap is +2.2.
He also finished fourth at the Darwin Salver in Rye - an Under-21 event - and in the Faldo Series he won the Under-16s qualifying by ten shots and came second overall (under-21s) to proceed to the final.
Marco has been spoken about as a genuine future professional golf star for a number of years, breaking into the England Under-18 team at the age of just 12.
Despite his formative years he is already considered one of the best Under-18 golfers in Europe, and he is more often then not the youngest player in each event he plays in.
But despite his star billing, the teenager’s feet are firmly planted to the ground.
“I train six times a week but if I’m honest I feel like I get rusty if I don’t hit a golf ball every day. It’s my aim to be a professional golfer but I know I have to work hard to get there,” the teen said.
And on dealing with the pressure he added: “I just like to play and let the results do the business.”
After making such a strong start to the season, which began in April, Marco will compete in around ten big events before the season draws to a close at the end of August.
And far from basking in his biggest win to date he added: “I’ve started well so I just have to maintain that really and have confidence in my game.”