Matteo Manassero will create another piece of European Tour history when he makes his Vivendi Seve Trophy debut at St-Nom-La-Bretèche in Paris.
The 18 year old – already the youngest British Amateur Champion, youngest player to make the cut at the Masters Tournament and first and second on The European Tour’s list of youngest winners – will surpass Sergio Garcia as the youngest player in the event when he lines up for Continental Europe against Great Britain & Ireland.
The Italian believes the experience could prove vital as he aims to earn a maiden Ryder Cup spot under José Maria Olazábal next year.
“It's great to be here,” he said. “It's an honour to be in an event that is named after Seve. So it's great to be part of this and I think it's a big step forward towards The Ryder Cup.
“I'm proud and happy to be the youngest to compete in this, and I didn't even expect it at the beginning of the year. It's great to be here."
Having won the inaugural tournament under the guidance of Seve Ballesteros in 2000, Continental Europe have since come out second best in the last five stagings – but Manassero believes captain Jean Van de Velde is the right man to end that run.
“The atmosphere is good,” added Manassero. “Jean is a really good captain with a lot of charisma, and knows his golf very well. He’s trying to put up a few tactics that will hopefully work well.
“He's very funny and he tells jokes. He's a good captain because he has played serious moments and funny moments, and that's very important. When you have to speak about something that is important for this match you have to be serious, but you can't be serious all the time.
“Everybody is looking forward to attempting to win it."
An added incentive for Manassero is the chance to win a title bearing the name of his golfing hero.
“Seve was my idol and I never got to know him that well, but I met him once and that meant a lot for me,” he said. “But it means even more for my first chance in the event to be when we are missing him for the first time. We’re going to hopefully give him a great honour.”