Manassero refusing to panic over rankings slide

Sat May 23, 2015 12:45pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Matteo Manassero has endured a frustrating time since winning the BMW PGA Championship two years ago but is refusing to panic because he believes he is performing well enough to turn the corner.

The Italian burst on to the scene in 2010 by landing the Castello Masters title in Spain, becoming the youngest European Tour champion in history at the age of 17 years and 188 days.

Manassero underlined his immense promise by following up with victories at the Malaysian Open in 2011, the Singapore Open in 2012 and at Wentworth 24 months ago.

His career has stalled over the last couple of seasons, causing him to plunge from 25th in the world rankings to 307th, but the 22-year-old is certain a return to form is imminent.

"I want to get back to where I was and I think I can get back to where I was," Manassero told Reuters in an interview after a flurry of third-round birdies gave him a three-under-par 69 and a two-under total of 214 at this year's BMW PGA, the tour's flagship event.

"I don't want it desperately, I just want it to happen naturally. Right now I'm ok with things and just trying to concentrate on getting back on track and playing good golf.

"I used to get frustrated with myself but I don't any more because it just makes things harder and it puts more pressure on," added Manassero.

"I'm happy now that I'm playing well and I think I can have a good season."   Continued...

Italy's Matteo Manassero (R) talks with his caddy on the second day of the Volvo China Open at Tomson Golf Club in Pudong, Shanghai, China, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer