Manassero in India is at the top of the ranking

In New Delhi, the first round of the Hero Indian Open got off to a great start for Matteo Manassero

by Andrea Gussoni
Manassero in India is at the top of the ranking
© Getty Images Sport - Luke Walker / Stringer

In New Delhi, the first round of the Hero Indian Open got off to a great start for Matteo Manassero. The Italian, with a bogey-free round of 65 (-7) strokes, highlighted by an eagle and five birdies, shares the top of the leaderboard with Dutchman Joost Luiten and Japanese player Keita Nakajima.

Following his return to success on the DP World Tour in South Africa and the Jonsson Workwear Open, Manassero dreams of another triumph on the premier continental circuit. "It was a special day, I played well from tee to green, and I'm definitely happy with this result," expressed the satisfaction of the 30-year-old Venetian.

Matteo Manassero, results

Trailing the leaders on the DLF G&CC course (par 72), all tied for 4th place with 66 (-6), are Frenchman Romain Langasque and Englishmen Sam Bairstow and Jordan Smith. As for the other Italians, Lorenzo Scalise also had a good start, ranking 21st with 69 (-3).

Behind him are Guido Migliozzi, 43rd with 71 (-1), and Francesco Laporta, 64th with 72 (par). Andrea Pavan, currently 80th with 73 (+1), Filippo Celli, and Edoardo Molinari, both at 108th with 75 (+3), are at risk of elimination and need to step up their game.

The Hero Indian Open, now in its 57th edition, offers a prize purse of $2,500,000, with $382,500 going to the winner. 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.

He moved to Gardagolf Country Club in Soiano del Lago (BS) in 1998, where he was coached by Franco Maestroni. One of the first to notice him and speak about him was television journalist Germano Mosconi, who became known in the 2000s on the internet due to the publication of videos of his angry reactions to mishaps off-camera while hosting informational programs for the local broadcaster Telenuovo.

Currently, he trains and resides at Golf Club Monticello (near Como) and is coached by 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 invitations to two Majors: the Open Championship and The Masters.

During the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, Matteo finished tied for 13th place with Francesco Molinari, earning the Silver Medal awarded to the best amateur in the competition. On April 9, 2010, at the age of 16 years, 11 months, and 22 days, Manassero broke the record set by South African Bobby Cole in 1967, becoming the youngest player to make the cut at The Masters, finishing 36th.

He turned professional in May 2010 and decided to make his debut at the Open d'Italia, finishing in the top 30. Subsequently invited to England to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, he made the cut and finished the tournament in 17th place.

On October 24, 2010, Manassero won the Castelló Masters in Spain, becoming, at 17 years, 6 months, and 5 days, the youngest winner of a European Tour event. The record was previously held by New Zealander Danny Lee, who won the Johnnie Walker Classic in February 2009.

On November 30, 2010, he was awarded the "Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year" title by the European Tour at Wentworth, a recognition previously given to players such as Nick Faldo, Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, José María Olazábal, and Colin Montgomerie.

In April 2011, just a few days before his 18th birthday, he won his second European Tour event, triumphing in the Malaysian Open held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. On November 11, 2012, he won the Barclays Singapore Open, defeating South African Louis Oosthuizen with an eagle on the third playoff hole, thus becoming the first teenager to win three European Tour events.

On May 26, 2013, he won the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club after a four-hole playoff against Simon Kahn and Marc Warren, becoming the youngest winner in the tournament's history and reaching 25th place in the world rankings. In early January 2014, he changed equipment sponsor, switching from Titleist to Callaway.

Matteo Manassero