England’s Marco Penge shot a three under par final round 69 to win by six shots at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A and be crowned Road To Mallorca Number One in the process.
Starting the final day with a one shot lead at Club de Golf Alcanada, the 25-year-old got off to a wobbly start with a bogey on his opening hole, before then birding holes seven and nine to shoot a one under front nine.
His closest competitor Tom Vaillant was struggling. A four over front nine only grew the gap for Penge as he was then leading by six.
Penge was just going about his own business calmly. Picking up further birdies on 10, 13 and 15 while a bogey on 17 was nothing to worry about before closing out victory with a regulation par on the last.
He becomes the 13th Challenge Tour Number One to hail from England and he secured the first of 21 DP World Tour cards on offer in Mallorca.
“Unbelievable considering where I was about eight weeks ago, when I think I was about 83rd on the rankings. To be standing here and saying I’ve won twice on the Challenge Tour and also winning the rankings is hard to imagine. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I am absolutely over the moon.
“I made bogey on one after a terrible shot into the green. I was trying to hit it about ten yard right of the flag and pulled it like 25 yards. I find it always takes me three or four holes to settle in my rounds and that is something I need to improve on. But, after three holes, I said to my caddie ‘I feel normal now, so let’s try and get our foot down and move as far forward as we can’ and obviously I did that.”
With Vaillant finishing solo second at four under par catapulted him up 21 spots to 12th in the Rankings. Frederic Lacroix went up 12 spots to 13th and in a dramatic final day for Sam Bairstow and Brandon Robinson Thomson who were playing together, a tie in fourth place meant Bairstow slots in at 18th while Robinson Thompson just misses out on a DP World Tour card by finishing in 22nd.
2023 Challenge Tour Graduates: