Happy memories for Manassero

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Matteo Manassero is set to return to the site of his audacious first European Tour victory 12 months ago.

Matteo Manassero is set to return to the site of his audacious first European Tour victory 12 months ago.

The Italian is ready to defend his Castello Masters title at Club de Campo del Mediterráneo in Valencia, Spain, this week, and still has very fond memories of his incredible victory last year, which came at the ripe old age of 17 years and 188 days and well and truly announced his presence on the world stage.

Though he had given notice of his talent before by winning British Amateur Championship and claiming the Silver Medal at The Open Championship, it was his victory in Spain that really cemented his repuation as one of the most promising young golfers around, as he displayed a maturity seemingly far beyond his years.

To underline that fact, he promptly won again in April of this year at the Maybank Malaysian Masters, more than justifying being named the 2010 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.

Currently he sits in a very respectable 20th on the Race to Dubai, and he can’t help but reflect on how far he’s come.

“Everything has changed,” he told the European Tour website. “Last year was very special for me because it was my first victory. Then I won in Malaysia, got into the top 50 and everything changed.”

The last four months or so have been fairly quite for the 18-year-old, with his last top-10 finish coming back in June, and he’s hoping that a return to the site of his famous victory a year ago will help bring about an upturn on his recent form.

“It’s been a difficult summer,” he added. “I’m improving my swing, making changes but I’m happy striking the ball.

“Next year I will play in Europe. I’ll play some competitions in the US at the beginning of the season but I’m comfortable playing in Europe for now. Winning again is always a dream, I’ve got experience now. It would be great if I can win again in Castellón.”

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