HE has balls of steel, a wonderful action and now has a first European Tour title under his belt: this week the only man worth talking about is Matteo Manassero.
I watched every minute at the weekend as the 17-year-old made history by winning the Castello Masters, and he was absolutely magnificent.
His hero is Seve Ballesteros, but Manassero is probably better than the Spaniard was at that age. Seve was the king; now the Italian has the chance to emulate him.
In a year he has gone from British Amateur champion to becoming the youngest winner on the tour, a truly fantastic follow-up.
He was already a bit of star before his triumph in Spain and I really think he is as good as it gets. He has a great all-round game and, because of his youth, has no fear. He does not seem to feel the pressure at all.
It won’t be long now before Mannasero breaks into the world’s top 50 either. His current ranking is 88 but you can be sure he’ll shoot up that table.
While his success is a huge achievement for the youngster, it is also yet another boost for Italian golf. The Molinari brothers, Francesco and Edoardo, have established themselves among Europe’s finest, and now the country has another top talent.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back in action this week at the Seniors Tour Championship in Spain. I’ve won every year that I’ve been on the tour, including at this tournament in 2008, so I’m hopeful and determined to keep up that record.
FACTFILE | MATTEO MANASSERO
Born 19 April 1993, Negrar, Verona, Italy
Achievements Youngest ever winner of British Amateur Championship in 2009; second youngest European Tour member; youngest to make cut at Masters; youngest to win a European Tour title