For most 17-year-olds, the aim of emulating Rory McIlroy’s feat of winning one of golf’s historic major titles by the age of 22 is just a fantasy but for Golf At Goodwood’s Marco Penge it is a very real possibility.
2015 has been a stellar year for the current under-18 European top ranked golfer. At just 17, Penge has long been touted as a rising star of the game but this year he confirmed his credentials as the future of English and world golf by being crowned England’s top junior golfer of 2015 by virtue of winning the Boys Order of Merit.
Having won three National events in 2015 including the Scottish Amateur Strokeplay Championship, Penge eased to the order of merit title despite playing very few tournaments on the Boy’s tour.
Commenting on his performances in 2015, Penge said, “The year has given me great confidence, winning the Scottish Amateur Strokeplay Championships was my favourite victory as it is the biggest one I have won and I felt like I played great golf! I played with some class players that week which improved my game and before the week I even said to a friend that ‘I feel like I have a great chance of winning’ and I did!”
Penge plans to turn pro within the next two years but not until he feels his game is ready for the challenges of the professional tour. Such maturity is beyond his years but with a number of young golfers such as Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler all enjoying success that belies their age, the ambitious Penge has them all within his sights. McIlroy won his first major at the age of 22 and Penge believes there is no reason he can’t emulate the current world number 2 and four-time major winner.
“I think I can win a Major Tournament before I turn pro. My plans are to turn pro within the next two years so I will give my best shot at winning a major tournament before I am 22. It is a big goal but nothing is impossible”.
Penge is under no illusions how much hard work is between him and his quest to become the top ranked golfer on the planet. The Golf at Goodwood ambassador will be working as hard as he can this winter on the Sussex Downs, especially to improve on the consistency needed to survive in the professional sphere.
“My good golf is good enough for the top of the amateur game but my bad golf needs improving. Golf at Goodwood have been great to me, they’re so supportive and I couldn’t ask for a better golf club to support me. They have two great courses and they’re very different to each other which is good because then you get used to different types of golf courses.”
Looking ahead to 2016, Penge is targeting winning the British Amateur Championships and qualifying for the British Open. These may seem like bold claims but for England Golf’s top junior of golfer of 2015, it is the natural progression to realising his enormous potential as a future world number one.
Marco Penge is a Golf At Goodwood Ambassador. To follow his progress and for more information on Golf At Goodwood membership please visit: www.goodwood.com/golf-at-goodwood