Monday, April 18, 2011
This Matteo Manassero Kid is Redefining Men's Golf
It has happened in just about every individual sport, but it never seemed to be capable in men's golf. A teenager burst on the scene and immediately dominates, taking over the headlines and the trophies and making every older person think, "How in the world can this kid handle this enormous amount of pressure?!?"
It happened with the Williams sisters. It happened with Michelle Wie. And now, it is happening with Matteo Manassero.
Most golf fans probably noticed Manassero's name from the Accenture Match Play earlier this year, but that is far from his best performance, and he showed once again that teenagers can win at an elite level (consider the European Tour the highest level if you'd like) this weekend. Matteo played the weekend 9-under at the Malaysian Open and won his second European Tour event in less than a year by a shot over Gregory Bourdy.
Don't let that last name take away from Manassero's win. There were guys like Rory McIlroy, Simon Dyson, and Martin Kaymer all chasing the 17-year-old Manassero, but like a veteran, he kept his composure and locked up another win.
It really is incredible. I know we've seen 21-year-olds win big events before, but this kid is four years their junior and is now a two-time winner. He has finished in the top-15 in a major championship as an amateur (he was 16 at the time), and does't seem to by the type of talent to flame out in the near future.
It just really makes me think of how I'd handle such pressure at such a young age. I can barely remember last week, but when I was 17, I'm pretty sure the only stress I had in my life was if a certain girl would go to prom with me, and what weekend the SATs were. This kid is battling the best golfers in the world down the stretch to take home $411,000, and succeeding.
Way more than my constantly sore knee and back, Manassero officially makes me feel old.