Matteo Manassero has only played three tournaments in the United States. So the Italian teenager is just beginning to develop a fan base here.
The way Manassero is playing at the Transitions Championship, though, it won't be long before even the casual golf fan knows who he is. The 17-year-old pro fired his second straight 68 at the Copperhead Course on Friday to move with three strokes of the lead.
"Obviously I'm not far away," Manassero said. "My focus is try to hit better, maybe just more consistent golf shots and see if the putts will work like this all the week. So it's definitely going to be a good week anyway."
Manassero became the youngest winner on the European Tour last year when he captured the title at the Casetello Masters at the age of 17 years, 188 days. Manassero, who turns 18 on April 19, could earn that distinction on the PGA TOUR, as well, if he wins the Transitions Championship.
Here are the youngest winners on the PGA TOUR:
|Johnny McDermott||19 years, 10 months, 14 days||1911 U.S. Open|
|Gene Sarazen||20 years, 5 days||1922 South 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 year, 4 months, 18 days||1922 U.S. Open|