Manassero has the game to become the world’s best

Sam Torrance
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WHAT a star Matteo Manassero is. He certainly has the potential to be a future world No1.

The 20-year-old became the youngest ever winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday, after holding his nerve to win a four-hole play-off against England’s Simon Khan, and what a worthy champion of the European Tour’s flagship event.

His swing is by no means a classic, but it is just beautiful. I have no doubt Manassero can be anything he wants to be. He has an old head on young shoulders. He made some very difficult decisions, particularly during the play-off and deserved his success.

I felt for Khan though, because he probably needed the win more than Manassero did. It was 2010 revisited for him when he went from seven shots off the lead to card a final round 66 and win. But 66 wasn’t enough on Sunday.

It was an exciting finish, which I would put down to Ernie Els’ design of the course. And that was just what we needed after losing home stars like Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald early, largely due to the horrific weather conditions on Thursday and Friday.

Lee Westwood was probably the biggest disappointment though, after blowing a two-shot lead in the final round. He was a class above the rest of the leaders, in terms of ranking, and started like he meant business, but wasn’t swinging well.

McIlroy missed the cut, which I would solely put down to the conditions because he is really swinging well at the moment. He will have had two extra days to get back over to America for Thursday’s Memorial Tournament in Muirfield Village and I can see the World No2 having a very big week.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam