Matteo Manassero reflected on the week “everything changed” as he returned to Club de Campo del Mediterráneo to defend his Castelló Masters title.
The 18 year old Italian became The European Tour’s youngest winner 12 months ago when he raced to a four shot victory aged just 17 years and 188 days.
Manassero’s potential had already been highlighted by his British Amateur Championship victory, and he claimed the Silver Medal at The Open Championship.
But the nature of his maiden win stunned observers, as Manassero displayed a maturity far beyond his years.
The 2010 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year confirmed his burgeoning talent with victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open, and has continued to impress throughout 2011 to sit 20th in The Race to Dubai.
“Everything has changed,” he said. “Last year was very special for me because it was my first victory. Then I won in Malaysia, got into the top 50 and everything changed.”
Despite his amazing success, Manassero is looking for an upturn on his recent form, having not finished in the top ten of a European Tour event since June.
“It’s been a difficult summer,” he added. “I’m improving my swing, making changes but I’m happy striking the ball.
“Next year I will play in Europe. I’ll play some competitions in the US at the beginning of the season but I’m comfortable playing in Europe for now. Winning again is always a dream, I’ve got experience now. It would be great if I can win again in Castellón.”