Matteo Manassero is a young Italian professional golfer, record holder for the youngest winner of aEuropean Tour. Born in Negrar, in the Province of Verona, on April 19th 1993, he began his golfing venture at the tender age of three and a half, on the Easy Golf driving range. In 1998 he moved onto a green, continuing his golf instruction with Franco Maestroni, who was responsible for his technical and athletic training from the very start.
After several national titles and a brilliant career as a young amateur, 2009 proved to be Matteo’s most successful year. Having won the Italian Championships Medal and entered into the Italian Open Top 25, Matteo then won the British Amateur Championship, becoming the youngest winner ever in golf history.
In the same year, he took 13th place at the Open Championship, taking the Silver Medal and doubling the previous record reached during the British Championship.
In April 2010, Matteo capped his outstanding amateur career with his excellent performance at The Masters. At 16 years and 11 months he made the cut, becoming the youngest player ever to compete in the tournament. This astounding result led to praises from Tom Watson, 8 time Major championship winner, playing in the same competition, who described him as a “really classy player”.
Not long after, he made the transition from amateur to professional golfer.
He played his last game as an amateur on the Royal Park I Roveri green in Turin, winning the Umberto Agnelli Trophy, and just a month later he competed for the first time as a professional in the Italian Open, playing on the same green, which has hosted the tournament since 2009.
In his first three months as a professional, Matteo took 2nd place at the Rolex Trophy, one of the rounds of the Challenge Tour, and 3rd place at the Omega European Masters.
In October, Matteo defeated his opponents at the Castellò Masters with a 4 shots clear victory, becoming the youngest winner ever in the Tour’s history (17 years and 188 days), beating Severiano Ballesteros’s record; his idol. Thanks to his achievements, he was awarded the prestigious Sir Henry Cotton European Tour Rookie of the Year 2010.
In April 2011, two days before Matteo’s 18th birthday, he won his second European Tour title – The Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. This victory launched Matteo in the world of the golfing elite and the Top 50 of the World Golf Ranking. Not long after, he competed in the Seve Trophy with the team representing Continental Europe.
In 2012 he achieved a series of positive results: he took 2nd place at the Andalusia-Costa del Sol Open, Spain; 6th at the Trophée Hassan II, Morocco; and 7th at the Maybank Malaysia Open and the Reale Seguros Open de Espana. This season ended in the best possible way, when in November he won – in a dramatic play-off against Louis Oosthuizen – the Barclays Singapore Open. This ensured him the third title of his career in less than 100 tournaments played; yet another record.
In 2013 he became fully initiated. He won the BMW PGA Championship in a spectacular play-off, setting the record for youngest winner in the history of the event, which is considered second only to the Open Championship.
After over three years among the Top 50 in the world ranking, Matteo’s victory at Wentworth put him in 11th place, the highest ranking to date of his young career.
In 2009 he received an invitation from the International Golf Federation to represent golf in front of the International Olympic Committee. Matteo, together with the champions Padraig Harrington, Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie, delivered a brilliant speech in support of golf being reintroduced as an Olympic game, starting from the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.
Matteo is currently the Italian golf ambassador in the world. He doesn’t just represent the future of golf; his image has also contributed to the growing popularity of this sport in countries like Italy, where it has always been considered an elite sport.
Off the green, Matteo is a Milan supporter and takes part in numerous charity activities. He is the proud ambassador for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, the Laureus Foundation, the Associazione Dravet Italia and the A.B.E.O. (Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology).
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