Manassero, 16-year-old Italian, becomes youngest British Amateur winner

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Manassero, 16, youngest British Amateur champion

FORMBY, England — Matteo Manassero completed a dominant week at Formby Golf Club by winning the British Amateur, making the 16-year-old the youngest player and first Italian to win golf’s oldest amateur tournament.

Manassero seized control toward the end of the morning round to take a 3-up lead, then pulled away from Sam Hutsby of England to win, 4 and 3. The victory makes Manassero eligible for the British Open next month and the Masters next year.

“I never imagined once that I could win this tournament,” said Manassero, who tied for 19th last month at the Italian Open on the European Tour. “I’m shocked. It’s unbelievable.”

It wasn’t much of a surprise to those watching.

Manassero became only the third player to win the British Amateur after having the best score in stroke-play qualifying. He trailed only once in his previous five matches leading to the final.

They were tied through 16 holes until Hutsby made a bogey and Manassero followed with consecutive birdies. The Italian teen stretched his lead to 6 up on the seventh hole in the afternoon and easily held on.

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