Manassero becomes youngest ever winner on European Tour

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Matteo Manassero announced himself as a major talent when he won the silver medal at the British Open in 2009, but his win at the Castello Masters on Sunday means Manassero is a real contender for next year’s honours.

As the youngest winner of the British amateur championship, the youngest winner of the silver medal, the youngest European Tour member and the youngest player to make an appearance at the US Masters, Manassero draws comparisons to a young Tiger Woods.

In his rookie season on the European Tour, Manassero has needed just 10 tournaments to register his first victory, Tiger needed just eight tournaments in his rookie season, however Woods was 20.

Tiger managed his first Major championship when winning the Masters in his second season on the PGA Tour, and Manassero is available at 100/1 to win the 2011 Masters.

Manassero will be still be 17 when the Masters comes around and it may be asking a lot of the Italian, but his taste of the action when he finished 36th earlier this year will only boost his confidence.

His 13T finish in the British Open is Manassero’s best finish in a major so far and he is 66/1 to win the Open, 100/1 to win the US PGA Championship and 125/1 to win the US Open.

Manassero is quoted at 25/1 to win the 2011 Race to Dubai, and he is 7/4 to finish higher than Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai rankings, with McIlroy 2/5 to finish higher up the rankings than the Italian.

McIlroy has a real challenger in Manassero as the pretender to Tiger Woods’ throne, and the Italian has the ability to cause quite a stir next year, and McIlroy will find extra pressure on his shoulders to perform.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.