2. BMW PGA Is Biggest Win Yet for ManasseroMay 26, 2013 - Pop quiz: As of this date, which golfers had the longest streaks of consecutive years winning on the European Tour? Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen ... and Matteo Manassero, each with wins in four straight seasons. Manassero added his name to that list by winning the 2013 BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, a European Tour major. It's the fourth win overall for Manassero, who won at age 17, age 18, age 19 and now at age 20.
Which Italian golfer holds the record for most wins on the European Tour? Constantino Rocca with five victories. Twenty-year-old Manassero is now second with four.
Manassero won the 2013 BMW PGA in a playoff over Marc Warren and 2010 winner Simon Khan. After they tied at 278, they started playing Wentworth Club's 18th hole. Warren dropped out after one hole, but Manassero and Khan played the 18th three more times. Then Manassero finally ended it with a birdie.
At 20 years, 37 days old, Manassero is now the youngest-ever winner of this tournament. He bested the previous record of Bernhard Gallacher, who was 20 years and 97 days old when he won in 1969.
Manassero is also the first golfer in his 20s to win the BMW PGA Championship since Jose Maria Olazabal's victory in 1994.
3. Win No. 2 for Manassero an Early Birthday PresentApril 17, 2011 - Matteo Manassero turned 18 just two days after winning winning the European Tour's Maybank Malaysian Open on this date in 2011. Manassero did it with a final-round 68 that included an eagle on the par-15 15th hole.
Eagling that par-5 to spur the victory is significant for the young Italian phenom, because the only "issue" with his game right now is length. Manassero is not long; in fact, he's short off the tee. Following the Malaysian Open, Manassero was 178th on the 2011 European Tour driving distance ranking, with an average of 273.2 yards, more than 40 yards behind the leader. (He was sixth in driving accuracy, hitting 70.4-percent of fairways.)
The May 2011 issue of Golf Digest included a feature about Manassero in which his lack of punch off the tee was discussed. His teacher was in no hurry to start addressing it, arguing that, hey, he's 17 years old - let Matteo mature physically and then let's see where he's at. Great approach. With a talent this huge, the first rule should always be, "First, do no harm."
Clearly, the issue of driver length isn't holding Manassero back too much right now; he has two wins on the European Tour and he's not yet 18!
4. Manassero Now Youngest-Ever Winner on Euro Tour
Seventeen years, 188 days old, to be exact, and that made Manassero the youngest winner in European Tour history. Manassero's victory was at the Castello Masters in Castellon, Spain. Manassero shot a final-round 67 to win by four over Ignacio Garrido.
The Italian phenom became the youngest-ever winner of the British Amateur Championship in 2009; finished 13th at the 2009 British Open; made the cut at the 2010 Masters (youngest ever to do so); all before age 17.
Since turning pro at the BMW Italian Open in May 2010, up to October 2010, Manassero played in 10 European Tour events (not including the U.S. Open) and finished inside the Top 30 in eight of them. That included a third at the European Masters. He also finished second on the Challenge Tour two months before winning in Castellon.
5. Manassero Just Misses First Pro WinAug. 15, 2010 - Italian phenom Matteo Manassero had a one-stroke lead with three holes to play in the Rolex Trophy on the European Challenge Tour, but couldn't hold on for his first professional victory.
Manassero, 17 years old, turned pro earlier in 2010 after becoming the youngest golfer to make the cut at The Masters. He was 16 at that time. Before that, he made the cut at the 2009 British Open and won the 2009 British Amateur.
At the Rolex Trophy, played in Switzerland, Manassero took a 3-stroke lead with an 8-under par 64 in the third round. But in the final round, Chilean Mark Tullo turned the tables on the teen, firing his own 65.
Manassero still had that one-stroke lead with three holes to go, but bogied the 16th and 17th holes of the final round, then missed a 30-foot birdie try that would have forced a playoff.
Manassero shot 70 in the final round, finished a stroke behind Tullo, and earned €18,100.
Since turning pro at the BMW Italian Open in May, Manassero has played five "regular" (as opposed to majors) events on the European Tour, made the cut in all five, finished inside the Top 30 in four of them, and with a best finish of 17th. In three starts on the Challenge Tour, Manassero has made all three cuts and finished inside the Top 10 twice. His only missed cut since turning pro was at the U.S. Open.
Not bad for a 17-year-old, eh?