Manassero back on track after thrilling playoff win

Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:43am EST
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Great things were expected of Matteo Manassero when the Italian announced himself as one of golf's great prospects by winning the 2010 Castello Masters as a 17-year-old just months after turning professional.

Two years on, the Italian ended a frustrating spell of results with a thrilling playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen at the Singapore Open on Sunday to put himself back on track for a swift rise to the top with his third professional victory.

"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 after eagling the third extra hole to claim the $6 million co-sanctioned event.

"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."

Clutching the Singapore Open trophy in front of a packed media conference, Manassero contemplated how close he came to missing out on glory when Oosthuizen stood over a four-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole, only to lip out with victory in his grasp.

"Well, you never know what's going to happen next and I guess in a playoff anything can. I had a chance to go forward and I felt at that moment I was really lucky," he said after ending a marathon day on which he played 36 holes to make up for time lost to the weather.

For one so young, Manassero had almost become a forgotten man as he adapted to technical changes and made tweaks to his game in order to get back to competing for victories on the European Tour.

SWING CHANGES   Continued...

Matteo Manassero of Italy tees off on the 16th hole during the third round of the Barclays Singapore Open golf tournament in Sentosa November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Edgar Su