Meet Renato Paratore, one of 27 golfers to lock up their European Tour cards for 2015 on Thursday:
If you're saying to yourself, "That guy looks young," you're right. He's 17.
In fact, Paratore is so young that 21-year-old paisan Matteo Manassero is one of his mentors. But despite his age, the native of Rome and apparent New York Yankees fan was the Q School leader at the PGA Catalunya Resort until a final-round 73 dropped him to third.
Overall, it was a great day for Italian golf as Andrea Pavan, 25, and Alessandro Tadini, 40, also earned their tour cards for 2015. The trio will join fellow countrymen like Manassero and former Ryder Cuppers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari on the European Tour next year.
Paratore won the gold medal in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in August and entered this week ranked No. 6 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Incredibly, despite all his accomplishments, Paratore is lagging behind the pace set by Manassero, who made the cut at the Masters before turning 17 and won his first of four European Tour titles later that year.