Manassero, 17, wins Castello Masters
Matteo Mannasero has became the youngest-ever winner on the European Tour at the Castello Masters in Spain.
Teenager Matteo Manassero crowned his first full season on the European Tour with a sensational, history-making victory in the Castello Masters that established him as the youngest ever winner of a European Tour title .
The 17-year-old Italian, seen by some key observers as Europe’s next Seve Ballesteros, came from behind with a 67 to beat Spaniard Ignatio Garrido by all of four shots.
England’s overnight leader Gary Boyd finished five shots back at 11 under in a tie for third with Dutchman Joost Luiten, Irishman Peter Lawrie and Swede Cristian Nilsson.
Mannassero, already a British Amateur champion, admitted afterwards that he was amazed at how quickly he had managed to claim his first European Tour title.
He said: “I really didn’t excpect it to happen so soon. I was hoping I might do it next year so I am amazed. It’s unbelievable.
The 17-year-old Italian had already secured his card for 2011 with his third place in the Omega European Masters last month and brushed off a missed cut in Portugal last week to win going away in Valencia on Sunday.
Manassero had halved overnight leader Gary Boyd’s advantage to one by halfway but a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th by the nerveless youngster saw him surge clear of the pack.
By contrast, fellow rookie Boyd fluffed his lines down the stretch when he dropped four shots in the space of three holes, effectively handing the title to his rival.
The other player in the final group, Christian Nilsson, was also unable to get any momentum after two bogeys on the front nine saw him to the turn in 38.
It was left to Ignacio Garrido of Spain to claim second with a round of 68 after finishing strongly with three late birdies, but none of those within range of the overnight leader were able to match Manassero’s trophy-winning round of 67.
“I always worked hard for this moment and now I’ve finally done it’s an unbelievable moment,” he told Sky Sports.
“When I made that putt for par on 12 to stay two behind I kept going and I made some great shots coming in, and some good putts.
“That was the turning point as well as the birdie on 13. I was very nervous. On the beginning I was nervous and then I was a bit more relaxed and then I was very nervous again at the end.
“I couldn’t really imagine to be a winner in the first year, it was really just to keep my card, but now I’m a winner already.”
The youngest previous winner of a European Tour event was New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who was 18 when he won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth last year.
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