Manassero primed for Italian Open title bid

06/09/2012 11:18:12
Matteo Manassero  (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero is doing everything he can to ensure his game is in peak condition for next week’s BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi, a tournament he regards as one of the most important of the season.

The Italian teenager has broken records at every turn since rising to prominence in the summer of 2009, when he won the Amateur Championship and then claimed the Silver Medal as the leading amateur in The 138th Open Championship.

He notched two European Tour wins before he turned 18, and would love to add his national open to his already impressive golfing CV.

“I’ve fixed my schedule so I am well prepared for the Italian Open,” said Manassero. “I’m playing the Omega European Masters and the KLM Open leading up to the Italian Open because I wanted to get some tournament play in beforehand, which always helps me feel prepared.

“It’s a big week for me and all the Italians. Personally, I love the course. I think it’s a great venue. So hopefully we will have some nice weather and it will be a good week.

“BMW have been excellent sponsors of the tournament since 2009 and everyone is grateful for their continuing support of the event.”

The 19 year old has had five top ten finishes this season – including runner-up at the Open de Andalucía Costa del Sol, where he opened with a majestic 64 – to lie 32nd in The Race to Dubai.

He finished eighth at Royal Park I Roveri last year, and he feels his knowledge of the course gives him an extra advantage in his quest to land the trophy.

“It’s a nice layout with some tricky tee shots, and the greens are always in good condition,” added Manassero. “The rough is usually quite high and sticky, so it’s not easy to chip around the greens and when you miss the fairways it’s quite severe. It’s a typical Italian course, but players from any country will enjoy it.

“I know the course very well, and when you are very familiar with a course it gives you confidence. Knowing which shots to play off tees and into greens is a big advantage. Last year I remember I didn’t putt as well as I could have done, so this year I will be trying hard to be in great shape and get a better result.”

Four Major Champions will tee it up in the €1.5million tournament – Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, Martin Kaymer and José María Olazábal – while for Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Kaymer and Francesco Molinari it will be their last competitive outing before they represent Europe in The Ryder Cup.

Defending champion Robert Rock is also in the field, as is 2010 champion Fredrik Andersson Hed.