Just How Good Is Matteo Manassero?

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 11:  Matteo Manassero of Italy poses for photographs with the Barclay's Singapore Open Champion Trophy after winning the playoff during the fourth round of the Barclays Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club on November 11, 2012 in Singapore. Singapore.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

19-year-old Matteo Manassero won his third European Tour title yesterday when he rose to the top of a field containing the likes on Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Louis Oosthuizen at the Barclays Singapore Open.

After having been quiet for most of the 2012 season, Manassero now jumps to 46th in the World Golf Rankings and is in prime position to earn his second invitation to the Masters next April.

So, with three wins at the age of 19, the question now becomes, just how good is Matteo Manassero?

Well, can you name another 19-year-old golfer in the world right now as accomplished as Manassero?

In fact, can you name another golfer in the past decade who has accomplished as much as Manassero by the age of 19?

McIlory won his first professional title at the age of 19 and had just two professional wins to his name before he turned 21...Manassero already has three wins and a British Amateur title.

At 19, most young golfers are still learning their way around college campuses. Manassero is already a multi-millionaire who has traveled the world over and appeared in seven major championships, making the cut in five of them.

At 19 most young golfers are trying to find a balance between their school work, social life and golf. Manassero has already been a professional golfer for three years.

Most 19 year old golfers will be preparing for their finals in April. Manassero will likely be preparing for the Masters.

At 19, most golfers are trying to figure out if they have enough money to order takeaway for dinner or if they have to settle for a bowl of Ramen Noodles yet again.

Manassero is worrying about equipment contracts, endorsement deals and whether or not he has earned enough this week to fly private vs. commercial.

There are a lot of people out there who will immediately write Manassero off because his game does not fit the modern day bomb and gauge style of play. Manassero relies more on accuracy and an outstanding short game to earn his living on tour rather than hitting the ball 365 yards and making mincemeat of the par-fives.

There are also a lot of people who will say that Manassero will have a hard time beating the game’s best on 7,600 yard courses.  Well, he just beat a slew of major champions last week at a course that played over 7,300 yards.

And many will write off Manassero simply because they don’t know much about the quiet, soft-spoken 19-year-old Italian.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, but before you began writing Manassero off, you might want to do some research and see if you can identify any 19-year-olds who have accomplished more in the game of golf than Manassero…because what you find may just surprise you.

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