Sport - Golf - Marco Penge
Marco Penge with the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos Trophy Image Credit: Supplied

Óbidos, Portugal - Englishman Marco Penge produced a cool display in the Portuguese sun as he claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour victory in the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos.

The 25-year-old started the final round one shot back from fellow Englishman Andrew Wilson. Three birdies in five holes around the turn had him two clear of Wilson.

As conditions got trickier in the Atlantic breeze Wilson couldn’t catch Penge. Marco eventually climbed to a four-shot victory at Royal Óbidos from his closest challengers Italian Lorenzo Scalise and American Julian Suri finishing on 12 under.

“I don't think I realise what I've just achieved,” he said. “I'm absolutely buzzing. I feel like my game has been trending in the right direction for quite a while.

“Promotion to the DP World Tour is what I’m playing the game for. If you can win on the Challenge Tour, you can win on the DP World Tour in my opinion.

“Five weeks ago I was 84th in the Rankings and I was a little bit worried thinking about my card and thinking about what I'm going to do. I had to keep telling myself not to think like that, but to look forward and here we are.”

Golf is a constant battle

“I've been working really hard with my coach on the mental side of the game. Golf is a constant battle and you think all sorts when you're in the position to win, but to actually do it is special.”

Wilson finished in a tie for fourth alongside five others, James Allan, Stuart Manley, Felix Mory, Oliver Farr and Manuel Elvira.

Penge climbs 42 places to 19th in the Road to Mallorca Rankings, Frenchman Ugo Coussaud returns to the top, Scalise climbs four places to third and Elvira moves one spot up to fourth. Just three events remaining until the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by the R&A where the 20 DP World Tour cards will be finalised.

Next up on the Road to Mallorca is the Swiss Challenge at Golf Saint Apollinaire in France, taking place from 21-24 September 2023. With Dubai-based Joshua Grenville-Wood, Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club ambassador Craig Howie and Al Hamra Golf Club ambassador Ross McGowan all in attendance.