Molinaris helped Matteo

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Teenage superstar, Matteo Manassero, has paid tribute to fellow Italians Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.

Teenage superstar, Matteo Manassero, has paid tribute to fellow Italians Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.

The 18-year-old, already a two-time winner on the European Tour, credited the Molinari brothers for providing invaluable help in his career to date.

“It’s very good to have two top players in the world, and Ryder Cup players, that are close to you and come from the same country,” Manassero said in a press release.

“It is lucky for me. They have helped me a lot and are both good friends. They helped me settle into this (golfing) life which wasn’t easy at the beginning.

“We often practice together and they give me help and advice because they have been playing on tour for five or six years now. So I owe them a lot,” he added.

Manassero picked up his second European Tour title at the Malaysian Open earlier this month, just two days before turning 18, adding it to the Castello Masters title he picked up in May of last year.

His next target is the PGA Championship at Wentworth towards the end of May. If he wins, he’ll become only the second Italian to ever win the title, after Constantino Rocca.

“It would be a great honour to follow Costantino as the second Italian to win the BMW PGA Championship,” he said. “I was only three when he won so I don’t remember it but I have seen his victory on video and know how important it was.

“The BMW PGA Championship is our flagship event on the European Tour and everyone wants to win it.”

The Molinari brothers will be vying for the title as well, and with three Italians now fighting it out at the top level, it shows the current strength of golf in Italy.

“To win there would be very special,” said Francesco. “This is a very good time for Italian golf and we just have to keep playing well.

“Hopefully our success will inspire others in our country to take up the game.”

“It’s always a pleasure to play at Wentworth because of the history there,” added Edoardo.

“Many great players have won (there), including Constantino, and it would be fantastic to follow in their footsteps.”

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