Rookie award for Italian teen Manassero

PARIS - Italian teenager Matteo Manassero has been named the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year after a record-breaking start to his career during which he became the youngest player to win in the tour’s history.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 30 Nov 2010, 7:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:17 AM

Manassero launched his professional career in the Italian Open at the beginning of May and in October, at the age of 17 years and 188 days, he won the Castello Masters in Valencia.

The former British Amateur champion went on to finish in 31st place in The 2010 Race to Dubai, playing 54 rounds for which he was 73 under par with only seven scores over 72.

“It is a big honour to win the Rookie of the Year award,” said Manassero, who follows in the footsteps Nick Faldo, Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Jose Maria Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie, as well as many of today’s biggest stars including Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Europe’s new number one Martin Kaymer.

“I never expected to win on tour so quickly and to win the Rookie of the Year Award is a perfect way to end my first season as a professional.

“It is such a special award because you only get one chance to win it so it is a great honour.”

Manassero is the first Italian to win the rookie award, which is judged by The R&A, the Association of Golf Writers and The European Tour.

He is also the tenth golfer from Continental Europe and 46th recipient in total since its launch in 1960.

He was the youngest ever winner of the British Amateur in 2009 and the youngest player to claim the Silver Medal for leading amateur at the British Open that same year when he finished tied 13th at Turnberry.

In April of this year he became the youngest amateur to compete in the Masters Tournament and, furthermore, the youngest player to make the halfway cut.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “Matteo’s arrival on The European Tour coincided with what many observers of the game regard as the most exciting season in our history.

“He has increased the interest in golf, especially with youngsters in Europe, and indeed throughout the world.”

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