Teenage internationals Marco Penge and Lizzie Prior are England Golf’s top junior golfers of 2015.
They have sealed impressive seasons, in which they both made an impact in men’s and women’s golf as well as junior events, by winning their respective boys’ and girls’ Order of Merit.
Penge won the Scottish amateur strokeplay title, while Prior tied second in the English women’s amateur and also set a women’s record on the New course at Sunningdale, en route to winning the Critchley Salver.
Penge, from Golf at Goodwood in Sussex, was delighted to win the order of merit after playing a limited junior schedule. “I only played three boys’ events this year and I won two of them and reached the semi-finals in the other, which got me over the line to win the Order of Merit,” he said.
“Winning this means a lot to me because a lot of great players, who have done a lot as professionals, have won this trophy.”
The 17-year-old’s highlights of 2015 included his wins in the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the Henry Cooper Junior Masters, alongside his Scottish success. He was also in the winning GB&I boys’ team which defeated the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Looking ahead to 2016 he hopes to progress to break into the top 20 in the world amateur golf rankings, to play in the US amateur, to win another title, to make the Junior Ryder Cup team – and to always be in contention.
Lizzie Prior’s win in the girls’ order of merit means she signs off in style from junior golf. The 18-year-old from Burhill in Surrey said: “Getting this title was a great achievement for me. It was something I wanted to win as this was my last year in girls’ golf and I wanted to go out on a high.”
“I have had one of my best years and I felt as if I prepared myself well for every tournament, ensuring I was in the best shape for every competition.
She won the girls’ title at the Fairhaven Trophy and was runner-up three times, in the English girls’ championship and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, as well as tying for second place in the English women’s amateur.
As well as setting a course record of eight-under 67 on the New course at Sunningdale, she also set a six-under record at Lindfield in Sussex, where she played her college golf before starting university in Las Vegas.
“Getting to Las Vegas for University has been one of the best experiences so far and I’m excited for it to continue,” she added.
Now Prior is aiming to get in the world top 50, to win the freshman of the year title and the English amateur. “I want to continue to keep progressing and getting better both physically and mentally,” she said. “I also intend to start pushing myself harder to go pro in the next two years.”
Leading final placings
Boys’ Order of Merit
1 Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood) 98475
2 Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park) 89623
3 Billy Spooner (Boston) 42330
4 Nathan Fell (Lindrick) 38253
5 Jordan Sundborg (Shanklin & Sandown) 31055
6 Will Enefer (Wrekin) 30645
7 Jamie Li (Bath) 30460
8 John Gough (Stoke Park) 28009
9 Thomas Jordan (Langley Park) 26396
10 Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall) 24888
Girls’ Order of Merit
1 Lizzie Prior (Burhill) 93225
2 Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) 58065
3 Emma Allen (Meon Valley) 509166
4 Hollie Muse (West Lancs) 50904
5 Alice Hewson (Berkhamstead) 36816
6 Eloise Healey (West Lancs) 34706
7 Emily Toy (Carlyon Bay) 30541
8 Cloe Frankish (Chart Hills) 28733
9 Sammy Fuller (Roehampton) 24426
10 Penelope Brown (Worthing) Sussex 21632
Image © Leaderboard Photography