Manassero becomes youngest Tour winner
On Sunday, at the age of 17 years and 188 days old, former Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero claimed the Castello Masters to become the youngest winner on the European Tour. The previous record-holder was New Zealander and fellow former World Amateur Golf Ranking number one Danny Lee, who was 18 when he won the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic.
2009 Open Championship Silver Medallist Manassero also becomes the youngest full European Tour Member, achieving that feat 12 days earlier than his idol, Seve Ballesteros.
A four-under-par final round at Club de Campo Mediterraneo, near Valencia, took the Italian to a 72-hole score of 16 under, which was enough to secure victory by four strokes from Spain’s Ignacio Garrido.
"It's just fantastic," said Manassero, who ascends to 43rd place in this year’s Race to Dubai. "I always try to work for this moment and now I've done it it's unbelievable, it's a special moment. I couldn't really imagine being a winner in my first year and I just tried to keep my card - but I'm a winner already!"
Having started the final round two shots behind England's Gary Boyd, Manassero applied early pressure with a 12-foot birdie putt at the third, before holing a 40-footer on the par-three sixth.
Two adrift on the 13th, he played a brilliant third shot from the bunker to two feet and birdied. Another stroke was gained with a tap-in at the next, and then a putt holed from 15 feet on the 15th green completed a streak that would see him surge into the lead.
"I made some great shots coming in and some good putts, so from 12 to 15 is probably the period where I made the most of this tournament. I was very nervous. I was a bit nervous at the beginning, then I got more relaxed, then at the end I was obviously very nervous even though I had a good cushion."
The win takes Manassero up to 88th place in the Official World Golf Ranking.