It’s not very often that Thursdays are quiet at the Golf Channel. But with the PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship kicking off Friday and playing through the Labor Day weekend, there’s not a lot of action buzzing around our newsroom today. In Europe it’s another story.
The Omega European Masters was not so ho hum today as 17-year-old Matteo Manassero surged to the early lead in Rd. 1 in Switzerland. The former British Amateur champion is bidding to become the youngest winner in European Tour history. But that’s not all that’s on his mind. Manassero, who is still in high school, is hoping to bypass qualifying school in November, to earn his European Tour card. To do so he likely needs a top-5 finish since he’s playing in his sixth of seven sponsor invites this season.
The Italian teen, who turned pro in May, admittedly is feeding off compatriot Edoardo Molinari’s stellar victory at Gleneagles, where he birdied the final three holes to win by one to catch Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie’s eye and punch his ticket alongside his brother to Wales in early October. But he’s not the only one feeding off that victory.
Molinari is just two off the lead as he tees it up for the final time before his Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor.