Monday, May 27

'Happiest Man' Manassero Bags Historic Victory at BMW PGA Championship

Matteo Manassero
"I AM THE HAPPIEST MAN IN the world right now," said Italy's Matteo Manassero after outlasting Scotland's Marc Warren and England's Simon Khan in a four-hole sudden-death playoff to win the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of the European Tour.

The happiest man is also a very young man, the youngest, in fact, to win the prestigious event. At 20 years and 37 days old, Manassero surpassed Bernard Gallacher, who claimed the same title in 1969 at the precocious age of 20 years and 97 days.

Manassero was ecstatic.

"I feel unbelievable, really emotional," he said. "It's been an amazing week. I have always felt something really special about this place and this tournament. Everything has come together this week. I managed to play well and managed to stay in contention after a tough day on Friday and pulled it off with this playoff."

Manassero (69), Khan (66) and Warren (69) finished at 10 under at the par-72 Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. Third-round leader Alejandro Cañizares (72) and veteran Miguel Angel Jiménez (67), making his 600th European Tour appearance, narrowly missed the playoff party, finishing one stroke back. Lee Westwood held the lead early in the final round after three consecutive birdies on the outward nine, but fell off the pace with a disappointing 40 on the inward nine.

The three-man playoff took place on the 539-yard par-5 18th hole. Warren exited the overtime on the first hole after driving into the trees. Manassero and Khan each carded 4-5-4 on three trips down the 18th. The fourth time was decisive. Khan dunked his second shot into the water that fronts the 18th green and made a bogey 6. Manassero reached the putting surface in two shots and two-putted to make tournament history.

"I hit four good tee shots in the playoff, and on the 18th that is the most important thing," Manassero said.

The 20-year-old phenom earned €791,660 for his fourth win on the European Tour. With the victory, Manassero jumped 29 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking to land at No. 28, earning a spot in next month's U.S. Open.

1 comment :

A. Stransman said...

I always get a kick out of people saying that they are "the happiest man" at any given moment. Who really is the happiest man in the world? Would be interesting to know.