Matteo Manassero close to returning to victory

Ten years and ten months after his last victory, Matteo Manassero could return to success on the European Tour's male golf circuit

by Andrea Gussoni
Matteo Manassero close to returning to victory
© Getty Images Sport - Andrew Redington / Staff

Ten years and ten months after his last victory, Matteo Manassero could return to success on the European Tour's male golf circuit. In South Africa, even after the third round of the Jonsson Workear Open, the Italian, with a score of 67 (-5) for a total of 196 (68 61 67, -20), remained at the top of the leaderboard of the DP World Tour tournament.

Matteo Manassero, results

The Venetian, who made six birdies with one bogey, heads into the final round of the competition with just a one-shot lead over South African Shaun Norris and Englishman Jordan Smith, both tied for second place with a score of 197 (-19).

Manassero continues to perform well, although for the first time in the tournament, he did not score any eagles (he had one in the opening round and two in the second). The 30-year-old from Negrar di Valpolicella (Verona) also faced some bad luck with a few putts that seemed unwilling to drop.

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

Now, he faces a significant opportunity in the year of the Paris Olympics, which the Italian dreams of competing in (it would be his second appearance after the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016). On the Glendower GC course (par 72), Andrea Pavan also put in a good performance, finishing 11th with a score of 202 (68 67 67, -14), ahead of Lorenzo Scalise, who finished 25th with 205 (70 67 68, -11).

Francesco Laporta struggled, finishing 75th with a score of 214 (72 67 75, -2). Born in Negrar di Valpolicella, in the province of Verona, on April 19, 1993, Matteo Manassero began playing golf at the age of 3 and a half at the Golf Club Villafranca.

In 1998, he moved to the Gardagolf Country Club in Soiano del Lago (BS), where he was coached by Franco Maestroni. One of the first to notice him and speak about him was the television journalist Germano Mosconi, who became famous in the 2000s for his viral videos of his angry reactions to unexpected events during off-air moments while hosting informational programs on the local broadcaster Telenuovo.

Currently, Manassero trains and lives at the Golf Club Monticello (near Como) under the guidance of Alberto Binaghi. In 2009, at just 16 years old, he won the British Amateur Championship, one of the two Majors for amateurs.

With this victory, Matteo set the record as the youngest winner of the tournament and the first Italian, earning himself invitations to two Majors: The Open Championship and The Masters. During the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, Matteo finished tied for 13th place alongside Francesco Molinari, earning the Silver Medal, awarded to the best amateur in the tournament.

Matteo Manassero European Tour