Rising golf star Marco Penge added another triumph to his burgeoning CV with victory in the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes last week.
The 17-year-old Horsham golfer partnered by his girlfriend, Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb, 18, rank as one of the youngest pairs ever to win the event.
For Penge it was third time lucky having reached the semi-finals with Toby Tree in both of the last two years and he came through on the last day despite feeling unwell.
The couple had not played together competitively before the tournament and it was Lamb’s first appearance at the Sunningdale Foursomes.
Their task was made even more difficult when Penge was hit with food poisoning on the last day, but his resilience was clear as he chipped in to claim victory in the final.
This year’s field of 128 pairs at the Surrey course included European Tour regulars Tommy Fleetwood and Robert Rock as well as seasoned Ryder Cup veteran Sam Torrance.
Penge, who began his golf at Mannings Heath and now plays out of Golf at Goodwood, said: “I have played in the Sunningdale Foursomes twice before with different playing partners each time. I reached the semi-finals both times so this year I was determined to make it third time lucky.
“We closed the game out on the 15th hole. They (Lewis Atkinson and Scott Marshall) had hit a great shot into the green and Sophie had hit our ball to the rough just off the green.
“I then chipped in and it was game over. We were the champions! I was still feeling ill and didn’t really show any emotion as I just wanted to get back to the clubhouse.
“Now I am feeling better I am so pleased that Sophie and I have won this tournament together.
“We really enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to see our names on the Champions board at Sunningdale. We may possibly be the youngest pairing to have won it.”.
The pair won the first match on the 20th hole before making impressive progress throughout the four-day competition.
They claimed round two with a 4&3 score, before taking round three with a resounding 7&6 victory. Round four was won 4&2, followed by a strong 6&5 in the quarters to make the semi-finals.
After fog delayed the start of the final day, the duo defeated John Kemp and Mark Wharton 3&2 to take their place in the final for the first time – Penge having made the semi-finals for the previous two years.
With time against them, both teams had to make a quick turn-around to get back out on course for the final.
Playing against the experienced pairing of Lewis Atkinson and Scott Marshall, Penge and Lamb played some terrific golf to land the tournament with an emphatic 5&4 victory.
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