Sussex professional Marco Penge’s long-awaited search for his first victory in the paid ranks has ended after the Horsham-based player clinched the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Irish Masters.
Penge, who is attached to Golf at Goodwood, finished one shot clear of Chelmsford’s Alisdair Plumb on the final day at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort with a final round 71 to take the title and move to second spot in the Race To Desert Spring rankings with just three events left in the season.
Penge, who has been knocking on the door for his maiden win on the EuroPro Tour all season, opened up with rounds of 66 and 67 to lead the field by three shots with 18 holes to play. And despite testing windy conditions during the final round, Penge battled bravely to the end, parring the last three holes to win by the minimum margin.
Speaking after picking up the trophy, Penge said: “I’m over the moon. A bit emotional, but yeah, I’m buzzing to have finally got the win. I had lot of guys hunting me down, so I’m really proud of the way I managed my game and hung in there. I played this course last year, and I was in a great position to win, but didn’t quite manage to get across the line, so to pull it off this time is amazing. I hit the ball pretty well this week – it’s still not quite where I want it, but my putting saved me in the end.”
He added: “There have been a lot of doubters out there, but I always believed that I could win out here, so it’s been great to prove them wrong. Hopefully, this will give me the confidence to kick on, progress to the Challenge Tour, and win a few more.”
Plumb didn’t make life easy for Penge though, with his final round 67, added to earlier rounds of 70 and 68, giving him his first top-three finish on the tour in only his fifth event of the season. Adam Chapman (Windermere), the clubhouse leader from round one, recovered from a bad day on Thursday to post a final round 65 for the best round of the day to finish third.