Mulligan third behind stunning Penge in Peter McEvoy Trophy
 Laytown and Bettystown's Thomas Mulligan. Picture:  Pat Cashman Photography

Laytown and Bettystown's Thomas Mulligan. Picture: Pat Cashman Photography

Laytown and Bettystown's Thomas Mulligan closed with rounds of 68 and 74 to finish a fine third behind runaway winner Marco Penge in the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath near Birmingham.

The Irish Boys international, who was bidding to follow in the footsteps of 2012 winner Gavin Moynihan not to mention Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, went into the last two rounds just two strokes behind the eventual winner thanks to a superb 68 in round three.

But the 16-year old had no answer to superstar in waiting Penge — a full time amateur since he was 15 — as he closed with a 74 to finish third on two under 282. 

Scores PDF | Web

Penge, 17, closed with a five under par 66 to equal the Peter McEvoy Trophy tournament record of 12 under par 272 held by John Parry (2004) and Nathan Kimsey (2011) and secure an eight-stroke win over compatriot Bradley Moore, the reigning Irish Boys Amateur Open champion.

Moore, who closed with a pair of 71s, was also runner up last year.

As for the rest of the Irish, The Island's Kevin Le Blanc was 25th after rounds of 73 and 78 while David Brady and Eoin Leonard missed the cut.

Mulligan,  a Transition Year student, is looking forward now to next month's Irish Amateur Open at Royal Dublin as well as the East of Ireland Amateur Open at County Louth.

And he was pleased with his performance, despite losing focus following a two-hour suspension caused when  tournament referee Don Smith slipped down a steep embankment searching for a tee shot at the 13th and collided with a tree. 

"I played real solidly," said Mulligan, who turned 16 just last week. "The massive delay didn't do me any favours but Marco Penge was miles ahead at that point anyway, so I was happy enough with my finish."

Several paramedic vehicles were called to the scene of the accident, which we're told ended happily for the referee despite the drama.

Peter McEvoy Trophy 2015, Copt Heath (Par 71)

272 Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood) 65 71 70 66

280 Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park) 69 69 71 71

282 Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown) 70 70 68 74

284 Matty Lamb (Hexham) 72 70 72 70

285 Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor) 73 66 75 71

287 Arrun Singh Brar (Foxhills) 70 77 71 69

288 Ben Chamberlain (Padeswood & Buckley) 74 71 72 71, Jamie Li (Bath) 73 70 74 71, Matthew Lees (Woolley Park) 69 72 75 72

289 William Enefer (Wrekin) 71 75 71 72, Calum Fyfe (Cawder) 75 72 69 73, Louis Lazarus (Romford) 73 70 73 73

290 Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham) 73 71 72 74

291 Jake Benson (Beeston Fields) 73 75 72 71, Marcus Sewell (Shooters Hill) 72 73 75 71, Thomas Jordan (Langley Park) 76 70 73 72

292 George Gardner (Castle Royle Golf & Country Club) 72 75 73 72, Matthew Myers (Northamptonshire County) 68 75 75 74, Tim Harry (Vale of Glamorgan Hotel Golf & Spa Resort) 75 73 69 75, Christopher Curran (Harburn) 71 73 73 75, Cameron Bell (Woodcote Park) 70 68 76 78, Alexander Scott (Nairn) 74 69 71 78

293 Jared Tyacke (West Herts) 70 72 78 73, Rhys Nevin-Wharton (Sandiway) 72 72 75 74, Thomas Murray (Moor Allerton) 72 73 74 74, Kealan Lowe (Wheatley) 73 68 74 78, Kevin Le Blanc (Island) 71 71 73 78

294 Coby Cartwright (Cosby) 73 75 73 73, Josh Oddy (Westridge) 74 73 73 74, Daniel O'Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) 76 71 72 75, Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall) 72 71 76 75, Jordan Sundborg (Shanklin & Sandown) 70 73 75 76

295 Bailee Curran (Orsett) 72 71 76 76

296 Callum McPhillips (Formby) 67 76 82 71, Harry Hall (West Cornwall) 78 69 75 74, Nathan Fell (Lindrick) 68 71 81 76

297 Jordan Boulton (Notts) 73 71 79 74, Thomas Williams (Wrexham) 73 75 74 75, Oliver Clarke (Hillside) 76 71 73 77

298 Max Martin (Ladbrook Park) 72 75 75 76

299 Kieran Cantley (Liberton) 71 77 78 73

300 Lewis George (Delamere Forest) 74 74 79 73, Niall McMullen (Lundin) 74 72 81 73

301 Mark Napier (Turnhouse Ltd) 70 77 78 76

302 Billy Spooner (Woodhall Spa) 75 73 81 73

303 George Mullins (Langley Park) 71 73 78 81

CUT

149 Joseph Bryce (Bathgate) 77 72 , Conor Richards (Shanklin & Sandown) 73 76 , Reece Samson (Worksop) 72 77  

150 Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club) 76 74 , Thomas Thurloway (Mannings Heath) 71 79  

151 Duncan McNeill (Powfoot) 76 75 , David Brady (Co. Sligo) 76 75 , Michael East (Burnham Beeches) 75 76 , Sam Done (Kenwick Park) 73 78  

152 Eoin Leonard (Wentworth) 79 73 , Billy Wright (Kenwick Park) 78 74 , Tom Atkins (Parkstone) 76 76 , Robbie Kemsley (Balmore Ltd) 74 78  

153 Luke Northwood (Kenilworth) 80 73 , Max Jordan (Langley Park) 77 76  

154 Lewys Sanges (Celtic Manor Resort) 80 74 , Will Porter (Carnoustie) 78 76  

155 Matthew McCulloch (Portpatrick Dinvin) 81 74 , Mats Markovits () 79 76  

156 Dan Benson (Prestbury) 79 77  

157 Jack Thomas (Irvine) 79 78  

160 Chris Hurrell (Notts) 82 78  

163 Thomas Froom (Nefyn & District) 76 87  

165 Jordan Golley (Clyne) 81 84  

168 Matthew Greenwood (Walton Heath) 87 81