Matteo Manassero is relishing the opportunity to defend his title at the 2014 BMW PGA Championship as the gifted young Italian reflects on a year which brought him the most significant victory of his fledgling career at Wentworth Club.
The 20 year old etched his name alongside such greats as Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie when he overcame Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a thrilling play-off to claim victory at The European Tour’s flagship event in May.
It was a win which propelled Manassero to new heights, and the four-time European Tour winner cannot wait to return for the 2014 edition, which once again will be played over Wentworth Club’s stunning West Course from May 22-25, and relive some of those wonderful memories.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to Wentworth, especially after my win last year,” said the man from the Italian city of Verona. “Wentworth has a really special place in my heart, I really cannot wait to get back there and I'm looking forward to defending my BMW PGA title as best I can.
“There are so many unbelievable players who have won the title which does make it more special. It’s such an honour to be the second Italian after Costantino Rocca to put my hands on that trophy. I joined a long list of top players to lift the trophy, so it’s a great privilege.”
Manassero, regarded as one of the world’s most promising young golfing stars, earned the biggest cheque of his career as he took home €791,660 from the €4.75 million prize fund, but he admits that it took some time to sink in just how important his victory would prove in the context of his career.
“It was immediate joy when I first won,” he said. “But at the beginning you don’t understand how big it is and how important a win it is, how much of an honour it is for the rest of your life to have that win.
“After a while you start to think about how big the BMW PGA Championship is. It sinks in, how proud I should be, so it’s different feelings. Straight away you’re just happy, but after a while you begin to realise how big a deal it is.”
Manassero will be joined by a host of the biggest stars in world golf next May as he attempts to emulate Luke Donald, who successfully defended his BMW PGA Championship title in 2012.
Advance tickets for next year, along with hospitality packages, are on sale now and represent outstanding value for money, especially if purchased as part of the Championship’s festive offers on www.europeantour.com/tickets which has been extended until December 31.
The BMW PGA Championship offers six days of high quality entertainment, including Official Practice Day, Celebrity Pro-Am and four rounds of compelling competition from May 20-25 for the equivalent of just over £10 a day if Season tickets, priced at £70, are purchased before the end of this year (concessions £45).
One key change for 2014 is for daily tickets, which should now be purchased for specific ‘named’ days of the Championship (Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday), which replaces the ‘Any One Day’ ticket. These are attractively priced at £30 pre-December 31 for Thursday and Friday (concessions £15), rising to £35 (£20 for concessions) on Saturday and £40 (£25 for concessions) on Sunday. A weekend pass (Saturday and Sunday) costs £60 pre-Christmas.
Advance tickets for the Official Practice Day on Tuesday, May 20 will be £5 and £10 for the Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday, May 21, if purchased by the end of this month.
There is an opportunity for the public to pre-pay for a limited number of parking spaces on site at a cost of £10 per day from Wednesday onwards. On-site car parking is only available by booking in advance in conjunction with the purchase of advance tickets. Alternatively, visitors to the event can use the excellent Park & Ride facility.
Reserved seating in the 18th green grandstand, previously limited to the weekend only, is available for pre-booking over all four days of the Championship in 2014. Thursday and Friday tickets are priced at £10, rising to £15 for Saturday and £20 on Sunday. This limited Reserved Seating is also available on a first come, first served basis.
Families planning to attend the Championship should note that all children aged 16 and under will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
Hospitality packages for the Wentworth Clubhouse and the Moët & Chandon Brasserie in the Championship Village are available now. Availability is limited so early booking is recommended to avoid missing out on one of the year’s great occasions. To reserve your place visit www.europeantour.com/tickets or contact Robert Gordon on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1344 840538.