SEVENTEEN YEAR-OLD Matteo Mannassero has taken an early lead at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, outlining his potential with a seven-under par sixty-four.
This is Mannasero’s thirteenth European Tour event, but only the sixth in which the Verona teenager has been professional. Manassero leads ahaed of Steve Webster, Robert Coles and Chapchai Nirat by two.
PA reports on Mannasero’s rise:
“A brilliant 13th in last year’s Open soon after he had become the youngest ever British amateur champion, Manassero joined the paid ranks after finishing 36th at The Masters in April. That entitled him to seven invitations to try to earn enough – over £200,000 – to avoid this November’s qualifying school. This is the sixth of those seven and while he has done well to make the cut in all the previous five and is over halfway towards his target, he probably needs a top-five finish either now or at the Dunhill Links championship next month.”
Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez have also had good starts, as ESPN reports:
Playing in his 22nd consecutive European Masters, Jimenez faltered towards the end of his front nine – recording bogeys at 16 and 18 – but still managed to reach the turn in a one-under 35, before going on to post a highly-competitive 67 that puts him at four-under. Ryder Cup vice-captain Clarke is also at four-under as he bids to continue his recent renaissance, which began with his second-place finish at the Scottish Open in July. The Ulsterman had just one blemish on his scorecard, a bogey at 11, and finished strongly by sealing birdies on two of the last three holes.