ENGLISH golf sensation Josh Hill has made history by becoming the youngest ever to win a pro ranking event – but had to forfeit the £10,500 prize.
Hill, 15, fired a blistering final-round 62 to win the Al Ain Open on the MENA Tour – and was hailed by ex-Masters champ Danny Willett as “seriously impressive”.
But he was not allowed to pocket the first place cheque because he is still an amateur.
That is much the same as Open champion Shane Lowry, who missed out on almost £500,000 when he won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009.
Hill, who was born and raised in Dubai, is nearly two months older than previous record holder Ryo Ishikawa, of Japan.
Amateur Hill claimed first place at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club aged 15 years, six months and 27 days – two months younger than Ishikawa was when setting the record.
Hill’s closing round of eight under par was good enough for a two shot win on 17 under over best-placed professional Harry Ellis, from Hampshire.
And in winning he becomes the youngest male golfer ever to claim an official world golf ranking event.
His best ranking is 480th but he had dropped down the list 867th.
Now he is set to boost back up again after his heroics in the Middle East.
A shell-shocked Hill said: “I really don’t know what to say right now. I’m shocked.
“If you had told me during the summer that I will be winning a MENA Tour title agianst professionals, and become the youngest ever winner of an OWGR event, I would have laughed at the notion.
“I am 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.”