Big chance for Manassero

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Italian golf has never known a time like this – and 17-year-old Matteo Manassero hopes to feed off it in Switzerland this week.

Italian golf has never known a time like this – and 17-year-old Matteo Manassero hopes to feed off it in Switzerland this week.
With brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari both now on countdown to the Ryder Cup, Manassero resumes his bid to earn a European Tour card at the Omega European Masters.
A brilliant 13th in last year’s Open soon after he had become the youngest-ever British amateur champion, the Verona teenager turned professional after finishing 36th at The Masters in April.
That entitled him to seven invitations to try to earn enough – over £200,000 – to avoid this November’s qualifying school.
This is Manassero’s sixth event and while he has done well to make the halfway cut in all the previous five and is over halfway towards his target, he probably needs a top five finish either now or at the Dunhill Links championship next month.
Crans-sur-Sierre could be his best chance. Open champion Louis Oosthuizen is in the field, but there are only two of Europe’s Ryder Cup side – Edoardo Molinari and Miguel Angel Jimenez – in the hunt for the first prize of more than £275,000.
There is another route open to Manassero to avoid the dreaded school, however.
The top 20 on the “second tier” Challenge Tour earn promotion and in just four events he has had a second place and two more top 12 finishes to climb to 33rd spot only £8,000 short of the current cut-off mark.
Next week’s Kazakhstan Open, the second richest event on that circuit, could therefore prove to be more important than this week, but he has already shown he is good enough to compete at this level.

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