News All Articles
Matteo Manassero embracing national spotlight amid return to Italian Open  

Matteo Manassero embracing national spotlight amid return to Italian Open  

Matteo Manassero says he is embracing both the added motivation and extra pressure ahead of his first return to the Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna in four years.

Manassero's long-awaited emotional return to the winner's circle at the Jonsson Workwear Open earlier this season was arguably one of the stand-out moments of this year's Race to Dubai.

Having made history as the youngest winner on the DP World Tour as a 17-year-old, his subsequent successes and then well-documented loss of form just a few years later made his comeback and end to an 11-year wait for a fifth title all the more sweet.

It was during that more recent period where Manassero was struggling that he focused on the Challenge Tour, which resulted in a four-year absence from his national Open.

Now, with an upturn in fortunes that has him placed at 15th in this year's Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex thanks to four top tens - including his win - Manassero makes a welcome return to his national Open at a venue he knows well.

"It's always good to be back home playing the Italian Open," he told the DP World Tour.

"It has been a few years that I haven't played it because I was focusing on Challenge Tour. But yeah, great to be back here. We all know this place, we've all been here before so it's exciting to be here and you know competing from tomorrow."

With recent success including earning a place in the Italian Olympics team, his first Major appearance since 2019, and a top ten at last week's KLM Open, Manassero arrives with confidence in his game ahead of competing in front of home support.

It will be his third of five events in a row, having played in the U.S. Open before travelling to the Netherlands for last week's KLM Open, but the 31-year-old insists he is prepared to dig deep and is in a strong place mentally.

"I mean it gives the extra motivation and also a little bit of extra pressure, of course," he said.

"All the family is going to be here, some friends. I'm happy to have the support, and I'm happy that they are here kind of sharing the experience with me, you know, so it's nice, it's cool. But of course, when it comes to tomorrow, I need to be able to put it aside and just be the normal me on the golf course.

"I'm feeling good, maybe better mentally than physically, but I knew from the beginning that this stretch would have been strong for me. But you know, we have to dig deep and get through it, prepare ourselves as much as possible to balance the energies and be at a good mental and physical level from Thursday to Sunday. I have another week next week and another one after that, so there is a lot of golf to be played, but mentally I'm really, really happy to be playing and competing so that's the main thing."

One thing in his favour this week will be his knowledge of the course, the Adriatic Golf Club in Cervia, which is a first-time venue on the DP World Tour.

The course features three sets of nine holes, with the tournament being played across the Yellow Course (holes 1-9) and the Red Course (holes 10-18), making for a 6,965-yard par 70 examination.

Giving his insight into what kind of test we can expect this week, Manassero said that in addition to a plethora of birdie opportunities, there will be a premium placed on judging shots from the rough.

"I think you can expect some fun, lots of birdies," he explained.

"I would say it's going to be really important to judge the shots from the rough. It's not that easy to hit a lot of fairways here, so you have to be aggressive off the tee and then the fairways get narrow, so there is a possibility that you will be hitting a lot of shots from the rough into small greens, so we'll have to judge that as well as we can. But yeah, I think it will be a fun week from a spectator point of view."

Read next