Matteo Manassero makes a great comeback

"I couldn't be happier, but the road ahead is still long, and I prefer to look forward, always aiming to improve"

by Andrea Gussoni
Matteo Manassero makes a great comeback
© Getty Images Sport - Luke Walker / Stringer

In South Africa, Italgolf dreams with Matteo Manassero. In the second round of the Jonsson Workwear Open, the Italian golfer, with a bogey-free round of 61 (-11) for a total of 129 (68 61, -15) strokes, climbed 19 positions and soared to the top of the leaderboard in the DP World Tour event.

The 30-year-old Venetian, who showcased his skills with two eagles and seven birdies, achieved his career-low round on the premier male continental circuit.

Matteo Manassero, statements

"I couldn't be happier, but the road ahead is still long, and I prefer to look forward, always aiming to improve," said the modest satisfaction of the former Italian golf prodigy.

The youngest winner of a DP World Tour event (formerly known as the European Tour), thanks to his breakthrough in Spain at the 2010 Castello Masters at the age of 17 years, 6 months, and 5 days, Manassero hasn't won an event on the major tour since May 26, 2013, when he triumphed in England at the BMW Championship.

After setting records, the 30-year-old from Negrar di Valpolicella (Verona), boasting four victories on the DP World Tour, lost his way. In September 2020, starting from scratch, he claimed the Toscana Alps Open (Alps Tour and Italian Pro Tour).

Then, in 2023, he scored back-to-back victories on the Challenge Tour, first seizing the Copenhagen Challenge in Denmark and then, at Sutri (Viterbo), the Italian Challenge Open. Subsequently, he regained full status to compete on the DP World Tour in 2024 and now dreams of an achievement that could also be crucial for his qualification for the Paris Olympics.

In Edenvale (a small city in the East Rand in Gauteng), on the Glendower GC course (par 72), Manassero - who posted the best score of the day - at the halfway point holds a single-shot lead over South African Oliver Bekker, 2nd with 130 (-14) ahead of Spaniards Angel Hidalgo and Ivan Cantero, 3rd with 131 (-13) along with Northern Irishman Tom McKibbin.

It was also a good showing for the other Italians. Andrea Pavan is in 17th place with 135 (68 67, -9), Lorenzo Scalise in 33rd with 137 (70 67, -7), and Francesco Laporta in 54th with 139 (72 67, -5). All four Italians in the competition have thus made the cut in the final event of the International Swing, which offers a prize purse of $1,500,000.

Matteo Manassero