Manassero clinches Singapore Open after playoff

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:40am EST
 
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Italian teenager Matteo Manassero displayed all the nerve and experience of a seasoned veteran to edge out Louis Oosthuizen on the third hole of a playoff and claim a thrilling Singapore Open victory on Sunday.

The first two days of the $6 million co-sanctioned event were dampened by lengthy storm delays but with the weather gods smiling down on the Sentosa Golf Club, the tournament reached a gripping climax over the final two rounds.

As an impressive Manassero threatened to run away with the event on a day when he ended up playing 36 holes, the 2010 Open Championship winner Oosthuizen emerged from the pack and could and should have won the tournament in the playoff.

The duo birdied the par-five 18th in regulation to finish locked on 13-under 271 and after they repeated the feat on the first extra hole, Oosthuizen had a four-foot birdie putt to claim the title on the next but his nervous effort horseshoed around the back of the cup.

Both men found the fairway on their third attempt at deciding a winner, with the South African's approach landing short and left of the flag before Manassero ripped a beauty that rolled down off a slope to within 10 feet of the hole.

Oosthuizen's eagle putt curled above the hole and his opponent made no mistake, picking up a third European Tour event before his 20th birthday with an assured putt into the middle of the cup that was met with a joyous roar from the packed gallery.

"It has been an extremely long day, the adrenaline kept me going and the playoff was just a great honor to play with Louis," Manassero told reporters.

"It's the first playoff of my career and it has just been amazing really. Of course to end it with an eagle was great."   Continued...

 
Matteo Manassero of Italy celebrates after winning the Barclays Singapore Open golf tournament in Sentosa November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Edgar Su