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Thursday, 26 May 2011
Matteo Manassero  (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero (Getty Images)

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Matteo Manassero moved into contention at the BMW PGA Championship then warned the rest of the field: "I'm getting better all the time".

The 18 year old Italian, who became The European Tour's youngest ever winner in Spain last October and added a second victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open last month, shot a five under par 66 at Wentworth Club.

That was only two behind clubhouse leader Luke Donald, and all the more impressive given the testing wet and windy conditions on the West Course.

"I like the course - it suits me well because you have to put the ball in play," said the former British Amateur Champion.

"The wind is going to be gusting because it's into the trees. You never know what it's going to do exactly. But if you get an approximate idea of what it's going on top, it makes it easy.

"In amateur golf, you play in a lot of windy conditions. But even more, I think professionally, we play every kind of course and we play with wind, which you know, it's a good experience. It's been a good year of experience.

"I am getting confident all the time. I won twice, and that gave me a lot of confidence, seeing yourself on the leaderboard gives you confidence, and in a big event like this, it's good to be on top - that's where you want to be.

"I'm changing the swing a little bit, so I'm still not exactly where I want to be with the swing but I'm getting better all the time and I think this gives me a lot of confidence, this round, and says I'm going in the right way. But it's mostly experience and knowledge of 18 golf holes around here with these conditions, nerves and adrenaline, it's not easy, but if you play well, it makes it easy, but it's not everything."

Manassero, who remarkably could move into the top 15 on the Official World Golf Ranking with a win on Sunday, admitted that he had been inspired by the tributes to Seve Ballesteros at The European Tour's awards dinner on Tuesday, where he collected the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.

"That was brilliant, amazing, really, to see Seve's videos and all of those things," he said.

"It was dedicated to him actually, which I think it's absolutely right, and he did so much. But you know, my award was good to receive it. I really am happy about it and I'm excited to have achieved The Rookie of the Year, which means a lot to me."

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1DONALD, LukeENG18-6
2WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-6
3DYSON, SimonENG18-4
T4FRASER, MarcusAUS18-2
T4LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-2
T4JACQUELIN, RaphaëlFRA18-2
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