Italian golf sensation, Matteo Manassero, has attributed an historic third PGA European Tour victory at last week’s Barclays Singapore Open to a week of relaxation and practice in the UAE capital during the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Having finished regulation play tied with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen at 13-under par, Manassero fired a nerveless eagle on the third play-off hole to secure a landmark win that sees him become the first teenager in history to claim a trio of European Tour victories.
The 19-year-old, who acts as a global golf ambassador for Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), was quick to highlight the role world-class facilities at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links played in his thrilling victory.
“Taking time off to practice in Abu Dhabi last week helped me win what’s arguably the toughest tournament victory of my career,” said Manassero. “That little bit of downtime helped get my mind focused and my game in great shape ahead of what is always a highly-competitive end to the European Tour season. It’s a great win against some of the biggest names in the game and I’m thrilled. I’m already looking for the next gap in my calendar so I can get back out to practice in Abu Dhabi!”
After fending off a world-class field that included Rory McIlroy, the world number one, and Australia’s Adam Scott, Manassero moved up to 13th in The Race to Dubai standings – with season earnings of €1,493,688. Notably, Manassero’s win at Sentosa Golf Club pushed him through the €1million mark for single European Tour season earnings for the first time.
“Matteo is on course to become one of the game’s great players over coming years,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi. “For someone of such tender years, his achievements are simply extraordinary. He is a big favourite with local galleries and we cannot wait to welcome him back to the emirate ahead of next year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.”
Running January 17-20 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the eighth Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship will see Manassero – who claimed his best-ever Abu Dhabi finish when he ended joint-sixth in this year’s Championship – square-off against a world-class field featuring McIlroy and the enigmatic Tiger Woods.