Renato Paratore followed in the very young footsteps of fellow countryman Matteo Manassero on Thursday, earning his European Tour status at the ripe age of 17.
Paratore finished tied for third in the six-round final stage of European Tour Q-School, four shots away from medalist honors earned by Finn Mikko Korhonen. The Italian teen closed with 1-over 73 at PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain but was more than good enough to finish inside the top 25 and ties to earn status. Paratore was the 72-hole leader by a shot over the eventual winner.
Englishman and 2013 U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick also earned his European Tour card. He finished T-10 after a closing 4-under 68. Fitzpatrick left Northwestern University this year after just a single semester, choosing to go home and focus on his golf game. The gamble has paid off, at least so far, with an opportunity to play his way into the upper echelon of the game the same way Brooks Koepka has, but without the grind of a full season on the Challenge Tour.
American John Hahn, whose 12-under 58 in the fourth round rocketed him into contention for status, came up well short in the final two rounds, going 78-72 to finish 2 under for the tournament and five shots off of the number to earn a card.