Posted December 24, 2023 in From The Tours by Tom Brassell
Mizuno fan vote finishes perfect season for Penge
Emerging talent Marco Penge has been named Mizuno’s 1st ever ‘Next Gen’ player of the year. The award, which recognizes a breakthrough achievement by Mizuno’s younger generation of players, was voted on by Mizuno’s Golf Group on Facebook.
Penge, who won the Challenge Tour Grand Final to top the rankings and win his first DP World Tour card, won with 51% of the votes. Penge has already demonstrated his pedigree on the DP World Tour, recording a 4th place finish at the Dunhill in South Africa in December.
Penge has already impressed on the DP World Tour – finishing 4th in South Africa and heading the driving distance stats at the Dunhill.
Close behind Penge with 30% of the votes was another Englishman, George Bloor, who topped the Clutch Pro Tour rankings, earning his Challenge Tour card for 2024.
Mizuno’s Alex Thorne elaborated, “The new #MizNextGen player award celebrates the evolution of Mizuno’s player support to emerging and ‘homegrown’ talent. It’s been a great ride with Marco over the last couple of seasons – watching him demonstrate the talent that everyone knew he had. Now Marco graduates up to the DP World Tour and joins our elite level of players – like Keith Mitchell and Ben Griffin. At the same time George Bloor is in the same position Marco had just a year back. It’s really promising.”
George Bloor topped the Clutch Pro Tour rankings to earn a Challenge Tour card for 2024.
Rising Japanese star Kensei Hirata won twice on the Japan Tour – just a year after graduating.
Nominees for 2023 #MizNextGen player of the season were;
Marco Penge UK – Winning the Challenge Tour rankings and earning his DP Tour card
George Bloor UK – Winning the Clutch Pro Tour rankings and earning his Challenge Tour Card
Olivia Cowan: First ever Major Top 10 – finishing 9th at the Women’s British Open at Walton Heath.
Bailey Tardy US – Highly impressive first season on the LPGA Tour – lead the US Women’s Open after 3 rounds.
Ben Griffin US – Polished performances amongst elite company on route to the FedEx playoffs in a rookie PGA Tour season
Kensei Hirata Japan – Two wins in his first full season on the Japan Tour, including the Mizuno Open.
Hannah Screen UK – 5th on LET Access Tour to claim an LET card for 2024.
Bryson Nimmer: Winner of the 2nd stage of PGA Tour qualifying.