Penge makes spectacular return to Mannings Heath with EuroPro tour qualifying win

Marco Penge in action on The Downs Course at Goodwood SUS-170902-150407002
Marco Penge in action on The Downs Course at Goodwood SUS-170902-150407002

Former Mannings Heath junior Marco Penge made a spectacular return to his old club last week.

He carded a superb seven-under-par 64 to win a first stage qualifying event for the 2018 HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro tour.

Nineteen-year-old Penge, who still lives locally but now plays out of Golf at Goodwood, progressed from his early days at Mannings Heath to win both junior and senior international honours as an amateur.

He turned pro’ in August after just missing out on selection for the 2017 Walker Cup team so this is his first full year as a professional and he will be looking to emulate the likes of Ross Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton, some of the many stars who cut their tournament teeth on the EuroPro tour.

Penge’s victory in the qualifier came after torrential rain reduced the event from 36 holes to 18.

With seven birdies and no bogeys on his card he finished four shots clear of his nearest challengers, Dartford’s Michael Saunders and Sweden’s Otto Bonning to claim the £300 first prize and go through to the second qualifying stage over three rounds at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire (April 4-6).

Penge will be aiming to finish in the top 30 at Frilford and secure the right to play in any of the tour’s 15 events this year with total prize money of over £1.2 million. These include the Nokia Masters which returns to Mannings Heath on August 9-11.

With all the club’s weekend events postponed, it was only Heath’s ladies who managed any competitive action with their nine-hole Easter Flag tournament on Kingfisher.

Emma Francis carried her flag the furthest before running out of handicap shots to win the silver division with Lyn Turner doing likewise in the bronze echelon.

Margaret Brown and Meriel Jolley took second and third silver places with Joyce Watson and Mary Grange following the bronze leader.