Skip to main content

Teen Manassero boosts Masters hopes

updated 2:48 PM EDT, Sat March 17, 2012
Teenager Matteo Manassero needs victory in Marbella on Sunday to improve his world ranking ahead of the Masters cutoff.
Teenager Matteo Manassero needs victory in Marbella on Sunday to improve his world ranking ahead of the Masters cutoff.
  • Italian golfer Matteo Manassero moves up to tie for second at Andalucian Open
  • Teenager is seeking victory as he bids to qualify for the Masters in April
  • He and Simon Khan trail leader Eduardo de la Riva by one shot after three rounds
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez also in contention to be European Tour's oldest winner

(CNN) -- Matteo Manassero boosted his hopes of a second appearance at the Masters on Saturday, as the Italian teenager returned to title contention at the Andalucian Open in Spain with a four-under-par 68.

The 18-year-old went to the golf season's opening major in 2010 as the British Amateur champion, and created history as he made the halfway cut before turning professional and becoming the European Tour's youngest tournament winner.

He missed out last year, but victory this weekend will put the world No. 63 closer to a top-50 berth and automatic qualification for Augusta.

Manassero goes into Sunday's final round in Marbella tied for second with England's Simon Khan, just one shot behind surprise leader Eduardo de la Riva of Spain.

Masters first-timers should arrive early
Tiger Woods withdraws from event
McIlroy's worthy of World No. 1 ranking

"I played a better golf from tee to green," Manassero said after bouncing back from Friday's 73, dropping only one shot -- at the par-five 16th hole.

"I made quite an easy 68, if you can say that. It could have easily been a 67 with a five on 16, which is routine. My only bad moment was three-putting 16, which pushed me back nearly two shots. The rest was all good."

"It's good to be up there and give me some chances tomorrow. This course is good for me, I like it, but there are many guys up there, so it's going to be fun tomorrow and I'm happy to be in it."

De la Riva is ranked 610th, and only qualified due to his ranking on the Spanish tour.

But he finished third at last year's Madrid Masters, and on Saturday matched Manassero's 68 to retain the one-stroke lead he held at the halfway stage at 10 under overall.

Khan climbed up the leaderboard with a 66, while tournament promoter Miguel Angel Jimenez was tied for fourth another stroke back with South Africa's Hennie Otto and Englishman David Lynn, who both carded 68.

Jimenez, whose 69 featured an eagle three at 16, is seeking to become the European Tour's oldest winner at the age of 48.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.