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Worthing's Penge Enjoys More 2013 Success

by Colin Callander - July 22, 2013

Marco Penge consolidated his great start to the 2013 season when he won both the boys’ Under-16 and Under-15 titles at the English Boys’ Under-16 Open Amateur Championship at Seacroft.

The 15-year-old from Worthing put together rounds of 70, 73, 67 and 73 for a 1-under par total of 283 and a three-shot victory over Billy Spooner from Boston and Kedleston Park’s Bradley Moore.

It was a performance which gave the Sussex youngster his first two national titles and extended a remarkable sequence this season that has seen him win the Fairhaven Trophy, lose out to Robin Dawson in a playoff for the Irish Boys’ Open Amateur, finish third at the Douglas Johns Trophy, fourth at the Darwin Salver and sixth at the Peter McEvoy Trophy. He also represented England at the recent European Boys’ Team Championship at Murcar Links in Scotland.

“It has been a great year for me so far but this is big because it’s a national title,” said Penge. “I didn’t play well this week. I wasn’t good off the tee. I was just trying to get it down the fairway but my short game was good.

“Perhaps I was a bit tired because I’ve played a lot of golf recently. I had a lesson on Saturday with Ryan Fenwick at Goodwood after last week’s European Boys’ Team Championship and I’m off to Germany on Sunday for the European Young Masters.”

Penge began the last day one shot out of the lead but a morning 67 gave him an advantage and he maintained it with a battling 73. “I got off to a good start and was two under after three holes this afternoon but I bogeyed the fourth and sixth holes to be out in 36. I found a trap off the 11th tee and made another bogey followed by another dropped shot at the 13th but I managed to par in from there.”

Spooner began the competition with a disappointing 77 but then shot through the field with rounds of 70, 70 and 69 to come up just one place short of becoming the first Lincolnshire player to lift the trophy since former European Tour player Jim Payne, in 1987.

Moore was one of four players sharing the lead at the halfway stage after rounds of 70 and 72. He was still handily placed after a morning 70 but dropped down to third place after a closing 74 which included two double bogeys on the front nine and another on the 10th.

“I knew after 14 holes that I was two behind but it was my putting that let me down,” said the winner of this year’s McEvoy Trophy. “I just couldn’t hole anything again and that has been my problem all week.”

Ireland’s Peter Kerr closed with a 73 to claim a share of fourth place with Romford’s Louis Lazarus on 2-over-par 286 while Denmark’s John Axelson was the leading Continental player in sixth place on 7-overpar 291. The Dane set a new Seacroft course record with a 5-under-par 66 in the first round but then slumped to an 82 before recovering with a 68 in the last round.

The in-form Penge and Moore will team up as England’s representatives in the boys’ competition at this week’s European Young Masters tournament at the Hamburger Golf Club in Germany.

They will be joined by Berkhamsted’s Alice Hewson and Sophie Madden from West Essex who are the English representatives in the concurrent girls’ tournament.

This year’s Young Masters tournament has attracted entries from 25 countries across Europe. The aforementioned Axelson is part of a strong Danish team making the trip to Germany while Scotland is represented by Murray Naismith, Niall McMullen, Fiona Liddell and Emma Hale.

Olivia Mehaffey

Olivia Mehaffey, right, and Niamh McSherry form the Irish girls’ team. They are joined by compatriots Kevin Leblanc and Rory Williamson. The four players representing Wales are Tim Harry, Tom Williams, Ella Grifiths and Bethan Morris.

This week also sees Europe’s leading women players head to Aura Golf Club in Finland for the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship. The Spanish contingent comprising Natalia Escuriola, Camilla Hedberg, Clara Baena and Noemi Baena will be hoping to build on their emphatic victory at the recent European Women’s Amateur Championship at Fulford.

Runners-up Austria were the surprise packages in Yorkshire and they travel to Finland with Sarah Schober, Marlies Krenn, Nadine Dreher and Anja Purgauer, all part of the team that battled all the way to the final at Fulford.

England’s Georgia Hall and Bronte Law celebrate inclusion in the European team for the Ping Junior Solheim Cup team by travelling to Finland where they will be joined by Hailey Davis, Alex Peters, Meghan MacLaren and British stroke-play champion Sarah-Jane Boyd. German duo Karolin Lampert and Quirine Eijkenboom, Ireland’s Leona Maguire and Paula Grant and Meghan Stasi from the U.S. are among the other top players on display.

Bobby Keeble will have a score to settle when he tees up in this week’s English Boys’ Under-18 Stroke Play Championship (Carris Trophy) at West Lancashire Golf Club.

The 17-year-old from Crowlands Heath tied Patrick Kelly on 7-under-par 271 at last year’s championship at Deal but then suffered the heartache of losing out to the Boston West player on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Keeble has been one of the most consistent performers on the English boys’ scene in recent times. His performance at Deal earned him a spot on the English team at last year’s Boys’ Home Internationals and he followed that appearance by finishing joint runner-up in the 2012 South of England Championship and third in the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship.

This year he claimed another second place finish in the Western Province Under-23 Stroke Play Championship and was also a creditable eighth behind Jordan Smith at the recent Brabazon Trophy at Formby.

The Essex youngster heads a strong field attempting to succeed Kelly as champion.

He is joined by fellow boys’ internationals Adam Chapman, Robert Burlison and Aston Turner, as well as by former English Boys’ Under-16s champions Jack Hermeston and Jack Storey.

Turner is also enjoying a successful 2013 season having won the Bernard Darwin Salver and finished tied second alongside Burlison at the Peter McEvoy Trophy. The latter also finished second at this year’s Kenako South African World Juniors Championship while Chapman has claimed a second place finish at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters at Nizels and a third in the McEvoy Trophy. He also reached the last 32 of last year’s Boys’ Amateur Championship at Hollinwell.

This year’s English Boys’ Under-18 Championship for the Carris Trophy has attracted competitors from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain as well as from all four home countries.

Previous winners of the title include Ken Brown, Sandy Lyle, Peter Baker, Justin Rose and Tom Lewis.

Europe has selected a strong multi-national team for The Ping Junior Solheim Cup to be played Aug. 13-14 at The Inverness Golf Club in Denver, Colo.

It features four players currently ranked within the top-20 on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and a further three within the top-100 on the oficial Ranking.

The team is headed by Denmark’s Emily Pedersen, who led the 2013 European Ping Junior Solheim Cup Ranking. It also includes Sweden’s Linnea Ström, Germany’s Karolin Lampert, France’s Shannon Aubert and the English duo Hall and Amber Ratcliffe, all of whom also earned automatic places after finishing in the top six on the European Ranking.

It is augmented by six wild-card picks, selected by European captain and former Solheim Cup player Janice Moodie. They are Italy’s Virginia Carta, France’s Anyssia Herbaut, England’s Law, Spain’s Harang Lee, Sweden’s Jessica Vasilic and Anne van Dam from The Netherlands. Altogether, eight different nations are represented in the 12-strong squad.

Pedersen claimed top spot on the European Ping Junior Solheim Cup Ranking after winning both the Spanish Ladies’ Open Amateur Championship and the German Girls’ Championship. She was also a member of the victorious European side at the recent Vagliano Trophy at Golf de Chantilly.

The top-ranked player on the European side is England’s Hall, who won last year’s British Girls’ Championship and is currently No. 7 on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. Lampert, the German Match Play champion and another member of the winning Vagliano Trophy team, is 11th on the Ranking, Pedersen is 13th and Ström is in 20th place.

This year’s match is played on the same week as the British Girls’ Championship at Fairhaven, which means that Hall will miss the chance to defend the title she won 12 months ago at Tenby.

England’s Meghan MacLaren and Sweden’s Madeline Sagstrom headed a list of eight amateurs who came through this week’s Ricoh British Women’s Open Pre-Qualifying event staged over the Blue course at The Berkshire.

MacLaren and Sagstrom both carded 3-under par rounds of 69 to finish tied third behind Australian professional Tamara Johns and progress to the Ffinal Qualifying event at Kingsbarns Golf Links on July 29.

There they will be bidding to earn coveted spots in the Women’s British Open to be held for a second time over the Old Course, St Andrews, Aug. 1-4.

MacLaren and Sagstrom will be joined at Kingsbarns by a second Swede, Linnea Johansson, Israel’s Laetitia Beck, Germany’s Nicola Roessler, as well as by English trio Lauren Taylor, Annabel Dimmock and Rachael Goodall, who both posted 1-under par rounds of 71.

Amateurs who missed out on a spot at Kingsbarns included Scots Jess Meek, Gemma Dryburgh and Alyson McKechin; England’s Charlotte Leatham, Inci Mehmet and Brogan Townend; and Chloe Williams from Wales.

Julie McCarthy defeated favourite Mehaffey by 3 and 2 in the final of this year’s Irish Girls’ Close Championship at Ballylifin Old Links.

The teenager from Forrest Little was 3 up after four holes against Mehaffey but was pegged back to 1 up by the eighth before winning both the ninth and the 10th with birdies. Mehaffey reduced the deficit to one again after winning the 13th and the 14th before McCarthy sealed the favourite’s fate by winning the 15th and 16th holes.

The defeat dashed Mehaffey’s hopes of completing the double after winning the Irish Girls’ Open Stroke Play Championship at Roganstown Golf and Country Club earlier this season.

It also sealed her second successive runner-up finish in the championship, having lost out to Holywood’s Jessica Carty in last year’s final at Waterford. The youngster from Royal Co. Down Ladies’ also reached the semi-final of this year’s Irish Ladies’ Close Championship at Ballybunion where she lost to Lisa Maguire.

In the semifinals, McCarthy beat Mary Doyle (The Heath) by 2 and 1 while Mehaffey won by the same margin against Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe).

Ariana Coyle Diez

All four players have been named in the Irish team for the forthcoming Girls’ Home Internationals Aug. 7-9 at St Annes Golf Links. They will be joined by Ariana Coyle Diez (Elm Park), Niamh McSherry (Lurgan), Niamh Ward (Lurgan) and Chloe Weir (Shandon Park).

The concurrent Scottish Girls’ Close Championship was won by Connie Jaffrey from the Troon Ladies’ Golf Club. She defeated Tara Mactaggart by 4 and 3 in a sun-drenched final at Ranfurly Castle.

The 16-year-old was an impressive 4-under par for the 15 holes needed to win the final.

“Winning this Championship was my goal at the start of the season and I’m absolutely delighted,” said the Kilwinning Academy pupil, who had already bagged the Ayrshire Ladies’ County title and the Scottish Schools’ Championship this season. “Today was certainly one of my best-ever rounds of golf.”

Jaffrey took up golf at the age of five. “I was going to dance classes but didn’t enjoy it so my Dad (David) took me to the driving range and I loved it,” she said. ”I then went to junior coaching at Gailes and have kept progressing.”

In the semifinals, Jaffrey defeated Nicola Robertson (Dunblane New) by 5 and 4, while in an all-Borders clash Mactaggart overcame Danielle Ker (The Roxburghe), 3 and 1.

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