Manassero aiming to repeat 'special' Wentworth win

Published: 3 Jan 2014 17:000 comments

MATTEO Manassero is relishing the opportunity to defend his title at the 2014 BMW PGA Championship as the gifted young Italian reflects on a year which brought him the most significant victory of his fledgling career at Wentworth Club.

Matteo Manassero celebrates winning the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

Matteo Manassero celebrates winning the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

The 20-year-old etched his name alongside greats such as Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie when he overcame Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a thrilling play-off to claim victory at The European Tour’s flagship event last May.

It was a win which propelled Manassero to new heights, and the four-time European Tour winner cannot wait to return for the 2014 edition, which once again will be played over Wentworth Club’s stunning West Course from May 22-25.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Wentworth, especially after my win last year,” said the man from the Italian city of Verona. “Wentworth has a really special place in my heart, I really cannot wait to get back there and I’m looking forward to defending my BMW PGA title as best I can.

“There are so many unbelievable players who have won the title which does make it more special. It’s such an honour to be the second Italian after Costantino Rocca to put my hands on that trophy. I joined a long list of top players to lift the trophy, so it’s a great privilege.”

Manassero, regarded as one of the world’s most promising young stars, earned the biggest cheque of his career as he took home €791,660 from the €4.75 million prize fund.

But he admits it took some time to sink in just how important his victory would prove in the context of his career.

“It was immediate joy when I first won,” he said. “But at the beginning you don’t understand how big it is and how important a win it is, how much of an honour it is for the rest of your life to have that win.

“After a while you start to think about how big the BMW PGA Championship is. It sinks in, how proud I should be, so it’s different feelings. Straight away you’re just happy, but after a while you begin to realise how big a deal it is.”

Manassero will be joined by a host of the biggest stars in world golf next May as he attempts to emulate Luke Donald, who successfully defended his BMW PGA Championship title in 2012.

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