MARANA, Ariz. – Matteo Manassero has shown a maturity beyond his 17 years during the first two rounds of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
The Italian teenager, who came in seeded 15th, has already beaten world No. 8 Steve Stricker (2 up) and Charl Schwartzel (1 up). He’s playing Luke Donald, who is ranked ninth in the world, today in the third round.
Not to get ahead of ourselves – he certainly isn’t – but if Manassero should win the Accenture Match Play Championship, he would be the youngest champion in PGA TOUR history. He already holds that distinction on the European Tour after his win at the Castello Masters last October.
Manassero’s age on Sunday will be 17 years, 10 months and eight days. So he would be the TOUR’s youngest winner by more than two years.
|Johnny McDermott||19 years, 10 months, 14 days||1911 U.S. Open|
|Gene Sarazen||20 years, 5 days||1922 Southern Open|
|Charles Evans Jr. (amateur)||20 years, 1 month, 15 days||1910 Western Open|
|Francis Ouimet (amateur)||20 years, 4 months, 12 days||1913 U.S. Open|
|Gene Sarazen||20 years, 4 months, 18 days||1922 U.S. Open|
|Horton Smith||20 years, 5 months, 13 days||1928 Oklahoma City Open|
|Gene Sarazen||20 years, 5 months, 22 days||1922 PGA Championship|
|Raymond Floyd||20 years, 6 months, 13 days||1963 St. Petersburg Open|
|Phil Mickelson (amateur)||20 years, 6 months, 25 days||1991 Northern Telecom Open|
|Horton Smith||20 years, 7 months, 1 day||1928 Catalina Island Open|
Note: There are 10 other players who won PGA TOUR events before their 21st birthdays – including Tiger Woods at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational and 1996 Walt Disney World Classic and Rory McIlroy at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship.