Wednesday, 04 May 2011
Matteo Manassero  (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero believes the Real Club de Golf El Prat course is perfectly tailored for his game as the Italian looks for a second European Tour title in as many months at the Open de España.

The 18 year old held off a top field to win the Maybank Malaysian Open last month, and now he hopes to do the same again in the country where he became the youngest ever European Tour winner last year.

"I am playing well and I like the course," said Manassero. "I think it suits my game. Some of the holes run between pine trees and you need to place the ball.

"That's good for me, as I like to play target golf. There are also some more open power holes. The par fives are reachable but very technical.

"The greens are the real challenge on this course, they will make the difference. You can play a great shot into these greens and struggle to make two putts."

Manassero turned 18 two days after winning in Malaysia, and has been enjoying his success since then with an extended break.

"My professional career has been faster than I expected," he added. "The wins have happened very soon, which is nice, but maybe too soon. Now everybody expects me to win when I still have a lot to learn.

"After my win at Malaysia I went home for a rest. My family is most important for me and I like to be with them as much as possible. It was great to celebrate both my 18th birthday and my win. I enjoyed the party with my friends and family. I want to lead a normal life away from golf and keep my old friends."

The Italian's rapid rise to prominence has got many experts predicting a place in José Maria Olazábal's European Ryder Cup Team next year, but Manassero is focussed on his short term challenges.

"The Ryder Cup is still far away," he said. "It's going to be two long qualifying years. Obviously it's on my mind, but my present goal is to make it to top ten in The Race to Dubai.

"Yesterday I went to Camp Nou. I think Barcelona is a great team and I had a great time. I am happy they won.

"I want to finish my studies, so I travel with my books and do my exams - it's not easy to combine, but I try."

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