Golf: 15-year-old English teen is youngest winner of a professional tournament

At 15 years, six months and 27 days old, Josh Hill (pictured) broke the existing record of Ryo Ishikawa as the youngest winner of an official OWGR event.
At 15 years, six months and 27 days old, Josh Hill (pictured) broke the existing record of Ryo Ishikawa as the youngest winner of an official OWGR event.PHOTO: THEMENATOUR / TWITTER

DUBAI (AFP) - English 15-year-old Josh Hill on Wednesday became the youngest player ever to win an Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) event with a two-stroke triumph at the Al Ain Open on Wednesday (Oct 23).

Hill shot a final round eight-under 62 to finish on 17-under 193 in the tournament which forms part of the Mena Tour.

At 15 years, six months and 27 days old, Hill broke the existing record of Ryo Ishikawa as the youngest winner of an official OWGR event.

The Japanese player was 15 years and eight months when he won the KSB Cup in May 2007.

"I am shocked. If you had told me during the summer that I will be winning a Mena Tour title against professionals and become the youngest ever winner of an OWGR event, I would have laughed at the notion. I guess hard work pays," said the 1.90m Hill.

"I am ecstatic but actually a little disappointed with my finish because I missed so many opportunities coming in. I honestly could have broken 60 today. I knew I needed a good start, and once I got it, I just kept hitting one good shot after the other."

Hill was born and raised in Dubai but is the youngest member of the England Under-18 squad.

The winner's prize was £10,000 (S$17,500) but as an amateur, Hill is ineligible to collect the earnings. His compatriot Harry Ellis, who finished second, took home the money instead.

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, and Nick Faldo were just two of the sport's established figures to posted their congratulations on social media.

Willett said on Twitter the feat was "seriously impressive" and used the hashtag onetowatch while six-time Major winner Faldo wrote: "Great playing Josh...what's next for you?"

Hill went into the Al Ain Open ranked world No. 2,072 and with the win, he is projected to move up to around No. 1,200.

He broke 100 in his first ever round as an eight-year-old and shot his first even-par round off the ladies tees, the following year.

He was a scratch handicapper at 13 and now plays off plus-five.

Last year, Hill revealed his ambitious and told Golf Digest: "I want to be the next Tiger Woods. Tiger is such a household name and the face of golf so I aspire to be like that one day. You have to dream big if you want to achieve big things."