Manassero rescued by advice from bagman and coach

Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:22pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Having a coach and mentor on your golf bag is always handy and it certainly proved beneficial for Matteo Manassero on Saturday as the young Italian rallied from an inauspicious start at the British Open.

The 21-year-old from Verona, already a four-times European Tour winner, dropped strokes at each of the opening two holes in the third round at Royal Liverpool.

Manassero was struggling to cope with the driving rain that was bouncing off the pristine green Hoylake fairways on the north west coast of England but a quick chat with his friend and caddie Alberto Binaghi quickly put him back on the right track.

The two men have known each other for more than a decade and Binaghi can also call on his experiences as a former European Tour player.

"I couldn't get into any rhythm with my swing but it helped having my coach with me on the bag because he quickly told me I was moving a little too fast," Manassero told Reuters in an interview after climbing into a tie for seventh position on 210, six under par.

"He doesn't complicate things and tell me too much when we are out there on the course but he just notices a few things.

"With him on the bag it's easy for me to adapt to what he says. He can't be too technical or too specific while we're out there but he knows what to say and when to say it.

"I quickly found my rhythm and it worked well today," said Manassero after cramming seven birdies into the last 16 holes to return a 68 and move within 10 strokes of runaway leader Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.   Continued...

Matteo Manassero of Italy acknowledges the crowd after making a birdie putt on the fifth green during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth