Sunday, 11 November 2012
Matteo Manassero with his third European Tour trophy  (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero with his third European Tour trophy (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero finished a marathon final day in style to win the Barclays Singapore Open after a play-off with Louis Oosthuizen at Sentosa GC.

The 19 year old eagled the third play-off hole from 15 feet to deny Oosthuizen a third win of the season, and hand The Race to Dubai title to Rory McIlroy after the World Number One finished third.

With much of the third round incomplete at the start of the day after lengthy storm delays on Thursday and Friday, Manassero set about completing a seven under par 64 to lead by two going into the final round.

The Italian, who became The European Tour’s youngest winner two years ago and added a second title in neighbouring Malaysia last season, then birdied the par five 18th for a final round 69 to tie with Oosthuizen on 13 under after the former Open Champion had followed a 65 with a closing 67.

Two trips back down the 18th failed to split the pair – Oosthuizen bravely holing a seven foot birdie putt after Manassero chipped to two feet first time around, before the 30 year old missed from five feet after his opponent failed to get up-and-down from the edge of the green.

Both were on the putting surface in two at the third time of asking, but when Oosthuizen missed from 30 feet Manassero showed nerves of steel to become the first teenager to win three European Tour titles.

“It’s been an extremely long day,” said Manassero. “The adrenaline kept me going and the key was starting really well this morning. Starting with some birdies gave me a lot of adrenaline to go forward. 

“The play-off was just a great honour to play with Louis - it’s been amazing really. This year has been a tough year for me going through a few swing changes, but it has been amazing this week. I’m glad this came in such a great tournament.” 

Manassero had four birdies in a row from the fourth in his third round to hit the front early this morning, and when overnight leader Thomas Björn faded on the back nine Oosthuizen emerged as his nearest challenger.

The Masters Tournament runner-up was two behind with a round to play before birdieing the first to get within one.

He found trouble off the tee at fifth, however, and missed his par putt from 18 feet.

Manassero birdied the second before chipping from sand to within two feet at fourth for an obligatory gain, as Oosthuizen found water at the seventh only to almost hole his fourth from the fairway and save par.

Oosthuizen caught Manassero with a hattrick of birdies from the ninth, but looked to have thrown away his chances of winning with back-to-back bogeys at the 12th and 13th.

He chipped in at the 14th, though, and a brilliant pitch to within two feet at the par five 18th saw him set the target at 13 under.

After bogeying the 15th Manassero needed a birdie, and although The European Tour’s youngest winner saw his putt slide by on the 17th, he made no mistake at the last after reaching the green in two.

McIlroy shot 69-65 on the final day, an eagle at the last confirming his status as European Number One and allowing the Northern Irishman to match Ryder Cup teammate Luke Donald’s 2011 achievement of topping the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

Björn recovered from his third round 74 with a 68 to take fourth on nine under, with Italy’s Francesco Molinari and three-time winner of the event Adam Scott tied for fifth.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-13
3MCILROY, RoryNIR18-10
4BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-9
T5SCOTT, AdamAUS18-8
T5MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-8

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