Manassero shines in Singapore

11/11/2012 6:05:23 AM
Matteo Manassero  (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero (Getty Images)
Matteo Manassero took control of a marathon final day to establish a three shot lead midway through the final round of the Barclays Singapore Open.

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, had four birdies in a row from the fourth in his bogey-free effort.

With overnight leader Thomas Björn fading over the back nine, Louis Oosthuizen emerged as Manassero’s nearest rival.

The South African, needing a win to maintain his chances of catching Rory McIlroy in The Race to Dubai, signed for a third round 65. 

With no redraw the players headed straight back out for the final round, and Oosthuizen birdied 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 the fourth for an obligatory gain, as Oosthuizen found water at the seventh only to almost hole his fourth from the fairway and save par.

That left Manassero three clear of the former Open Champion on 13 under, with England’s Chris Wood – still chasing a first European Tour win after 17 top-ten finishes – third on nine under, one ahead of Björn and compatriot Anders Hansen. 

Wood holed from 35 feet for birdie at the sixth to join Oosthuizen, but the South African swiftly added gains from ten feet at the ninth and five feet at the tenth to trim Manassero’s lead to one.

Oosthuizen completed a hattrick of birdies at the 11th from eight feet, and suddenly Manassero’s three shot lead was gone without the 19 year old doing anything wrong.