Marco Penj wasn’t sure he could walk again without pain. He will now navigate the Old Course in St. Andrews.
The 24-year-old Englishman was among 16 players who received tickets to the Open Championship on Tuesday through final qualification at four different venues. He shot 72-72 at Hollinwell, earning fourth and final in that qualifying.
Penge was once considered a future superstar and won the EuroPro Tour in 2019, but injuries have kept him from realizing his potential. Last October, he underwent surgery on his right knee and did not return until the end of March.
“The last seven months have been a lot harder than I thought,” Penge said last February. “It was an emotional roller coaster. I asked myself all sorts of questions: Will I be able to walk again without pain? Did my golf career end due to an uncontrollable injury? What am I going to do? What I was born for can be completed because of this. But no, I’m back. … The dream is not over yet.”
Since his return, Penge has shined on the Challenge Tour, placing fourth in his first start, the SDC Open, and earlier this month, finishing second in the Kaskada Golf Challenge. He rose to 472 in the world rankings.
Other noteworthy finalists include Stanford standout Barclay Brown, who played for last year’s GB&I Walker Cup team; DP World Tour winner Marcus Armitage; Sam Bairstow, recent British amateur runner-up and 12th in the world.th– rating amateur; and England’s Richard Mansell, who has now qualified for both Summer Opens after also qualifying for the US Open at The Country Club where he missed the cut.
Here is a list of all 16 players who have qualified for The Open in St Andrews:
FAIRMONT ST. ANDREW
Lars Van Meyel
OLD LINKS OF SAINT ANNA