Dominic Foos announced his arrival on the global golf stage by storming to a three shot victory at Aura GC in the GANT Open to become the youngest winner in European Challenge Tour history.
The German, just 17 years and 347 days old, fired a four under par round of 67 to obliterate the chasing pack, headed by joint runner-up José Manuel Lara, who tied the course record with a 64.
To put this into context, Martin Kaymer won his first Challenge Tour event at the age of 21, and the previous youngest winner, Francis Valera, was more than a year older than Foos when he won in 1993.
The teenager, who won 14 junior tournaments before turning professional, betrayed no signs of nerves as he made six birdies in his first 11 holes to put daylight between him and the field, and was thrilled to have emphatically closed out a tournament he had led from the very start.
“This is a very special win for me,” said Foos who is coached by Killinchy born Justin Parsons.
“I’m feeling great to have just won my first ever professional win, and my dad just told me that I’m the youngest ever to win a Challenge Tour event, which is really amazing.
“I was very relaxed all day, I felt really comfortable in general today. I think the mind-set doesn’t really change from day to day so it was the same as I’ve approached the week.
“Going wire-to-wire is maybe a little bit more difficult than finding your best game in the third and fourth round but it’s special to be able to do it.
“It’s very special to share this with my father. We’ve had a couple of victories together before, but we put in so much hard work and for him to be there next to me as my partner and caddie is even more special.
“My mum has been here walking with me every hole, so it’s really something special having your parents here at your first professional win. It’s a dream come true.”
Spaniard Lara, twice a winner on The European Tour, did not drop a shot as he made seven birdies to finish on 11 under par for the week.
Alongside him as joint runners-up were Scot Jamie McLeary, German Marcel Schneider and South African Brandon Stone.
McLeary birdied the 18th after a scruffy round, and both he and Stone consolidated their places in the top 15 of the Road to Oman Rankings as they bid to earn graduation to The European Tour for 2016.
Foos’ fellow German Alexander Knappe had six birdies and an eagle as he tied the course record with Lara on his way to a sixth place finish, his best result as a professional.
Gareth Shaw carded a final round 77 to finish tied for 61st.