Italian Matteo Manassero has become the youngest ever leader of The Race to Dubai following the fourth European Tour victory of the 20 year-old’s career at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, England.
Manassero’s win, following a play-off against England’s Simon Khan and Mark Warren of Scotland at The European Tour’s flagship event, moved him to €1,055,491 in tournament earnings. The massive rise of 41 places puts him in pole position in the 2013 Race to Dubai, which reaches a climax at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in November.
The young Italian – who has now passed €1 million in a single European Tour season for the second consecutive year – moves into first place on The Race to Dubai ahead of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (€1,029,186) with Australian Brett Rumford in third place on €875,270.
With The Race to Dubai comprising 46 tournaments in 25 countries, there is still a long way to go before the Race reaches its thrilling conclusion on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on 14-17 November. And with four different leaders in the last month alone, there are sure to be many more twists and turns before The European Tour’s top 60 players descend on the $8 million event in Dubai.
“Last month Sergio Garcia was leading the way yet in the space of just a few weeks he has been passed at the top by Brett Rumford, Graeme McDowell and now Matteo Manassero,” said European Tour International Director, Dubai Office Nick Tarratt.
“With three more Majors to be contested, starting with the US Open Championship in just over two weeks time, there is still plenty to play for before the season concludes with The Final Series and we expect a lot of player movement before we welcome the top 60 to the Earth course.”
A four-event stretch that begins on 24 October with the BMW Masters in China before the staging of the WGC-HSBC Champions, also in China, and the Turkish Open, “The Final Series” culminates with the European Tour’s top 60 players in The Race to Dubai standings following the Turkish Open qualifying for the season finale at the DP World Tour Championship.
With his place in the top 60 assured after such a storming start to the season, Manassero can look ahead to cementing his place at the top of the world game having also moved to 28th from 57th place in the Official World Golf Ranking, gaining a European Tour exemption until 2018 and guaranteeing himself a place in the 2013 US Open Championship.
The sublimely talented Italian – whose latest win had 2012 DP World Tour Championship winner Rory McIIroy Tweeting that Manassero made him “feel old” – finished last season’s Race to Dubai in 13th position and has already won more European Tour titles than 24 year-old McIlroy had at the same age.
Free tickets for the four-day DP World Tour Championship featuring the top 60 players on The European Tour can be obtained by registering online at the event website www.dpwtc.com.