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Event Preview - Open Silver Medallist Manassero goes for a unique treble

16-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero will head to Royal St George’s Golf Club for the Boys Amateur Championship next week in an attempt to add the title to The Open Championship Silver Medal and The Amateur Championship, which he has already won this year. This 'treble' would be just one of several Amateur records at his mercy.

Matteo Manassero

Playing with five-time Open champion, Tom Watson, at Turnberry last month, Manassero captured the imagination of the galleries with rounds of 71, 70, 72 and 69 to finish in 13th place on a two-over-par total of 282. And during the week of The Amateur Championship at Formby, he fell behind in a match on only one occasion, having set a new course record at West Lancashire Golf Club in the stroke play qualification stage earlier in the week.

Nobody has claimed both the Boys and The Amateur Championships in the same season. Should Manassero achieve the feat, he will go one better than two-time Masters Champion, Jose-Maria Olazabal, who took the two titles in consecutive years – the Boys in 1983 and The Amateur in 1984, also at Formby, aged just 18. It would also make Manassero the first to win the Amateur Championship before winning the Boys, and the first to take the Open Silver Medal and the Boys in the same year. Current world number three ranked amateur by the R&A, Manassero will begin his record attempt at 1.41pm on Monday 10 August.

Another player who has achieved a double this year is Scotland’s David Law who, less than one week ago, emerged victorious at the Scottish Amateur Match Play Championship. The 18-year-old, who has been working to improve his game with 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie, won the Scottish Boys Championship earlier in the year. He will get his challenge underway at 7.12am on Monday.

“I just go into it the same way I went into the Scottish Amateur,” said Law. “Just take it one game at a time.”

But standing in their way is Pedro Figueiredo of Portugal who returns to defend the title he won in 2008 at Little Aston Golf Club. Figueredo, who gets his defence underway on Tuesday at 10.01am, is already a three-time Portuguese Player of the Year at just 18 years old and has made the cut in two European Tour events – the Portuguese Open and the Madeira Islands Open.

Also bidding to win his second Boys title is the 2007 Champion, Emilio Cuartero of Spain. At the age of 16, Cuartero joined fellow Spaniards Sergio Garcia (1997) and Olazabal in winning the prestigious event. He will start his campaign at 7.05am on Tuesday.

English Under-18 Champion, Tom Lewis, will make the trip to Sandwich next week having performed well in the England team that won the Boys Home Internationals at Hankley Common yesterday. Lewis, who will tee-off at 12.16pm on Monday, earned five points out of a possible six during the three-day event – including all three singles matches – and won his final tie in style with two eagles in consecutive holes on the 13th and 14th to prevail 6&4.

“Royal St George’s is a great course for me,” explained Lewis. “It’s an Open Championship course, and that’s what my game’s built for.”

A match play event with a 36 hole final, the Boys Amateur Championship will be held on Monday 10 – Saturday 15 August at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, venue for the Open Championship in 2011.

August 8, 2009


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