Manassero, 17, becomes youngest Euro Tour winner
Italy`s Matteo Manassero, 17, became the European Tour`s youngest winner when he captured the Castello Masters title by four shots.
Crans-Montana: Italy`s Matteo Manassero, 17, became the European Tour`s youngest winner when he captured the Castello Masters title by four shots.
The previous youngest tour winner was New Zealand`s Danny Lee who was 18 when he triumphed at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia in February 2009.
Manassero started the day two shots behind leader Gary Boyd but a red-hot homeward nine and a collapse by the Briton set up victory for the teenager.
He closed with a four-under 67 for a 16-under total of 268 to win comfortably from Spain`s Ignacio Garrido (68) whose late spurt earned second place.
"It feels fantastic, I`ve always worked for this moment and I`ve finally done it," Manassero told reporters.
"I was very nervous at the start and I didn`t have a great time of it from the eighth to the 11th but then I hit some great shots coming in.”
"The key was saving par with a great putt on the 12th. From 12 to 15 I made the most of this tournament," added Manassero who trailed Boyd by two strokes with six holes to play.
The teenager, who missed a 15-inch birdie putt at the par-five eighth, strung together three successive birdies from the 13th and Englishman Boyd`s sudden loss of form made the closing holes fairly simple for the youngster.
Manassero only turned professional at the Italian Open in May.
"This is unbelievable, I`ve achieved this much earlier than I thought (I would)," he said after picking up a first prize of USD 466,000. "This will open up many more doors for me next year.”
"I couldn`t imagine winning in my first year. I was just trying to make my card."
Boyd, who shot a course-record equalling 63 on Saturday, slumped to a 74 to share third place with Dutchman Joost Luiten, Ireland`s Peter Lawrie and Swede Christian Nilsson at 11-under.
The Briton`s challenge evaporated at the par-three 16th where he found water and carded a double-bogey five.
Jose Maria Olazabal, making a rare appearance after struggling with rheumatic problems, was disqualified for signing for a five on the 17th when he had taken a six.
The Spaniard had finished well down the field following a closing 77.