Manassero looks to 'unbelievable' McIlroy
HONG KONG (AFP) –
Matteo Manassero said Wednesday he was aiming to emulate the consistency of Rory McIlroy, as the teenager attempts to follow up his Barclays Singapore Open victory with a strong showing in Hong Kong.
The 19-year-old Italian holed a 12-foot eagle putt on the third play-off hole to claim a dramatic victory over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen in Singapore on Sunday. It was his first-ever play-off.
The $1 million win was the biggest of his career following the 2010 Castello Masters and last year’s Malaysian Open.
Speaking on the eve of the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open, where he will tee off with the world number one McIlroy, Manassero said: “When I think of Rory I think of just an impossible game to imitate. He’s so good.
“Every week he’s able to concentrate and score well, which is a difficult thing. That’s why he’s number one in the world. His game has been number one in the world for a while now but he’s been able now to get the scores every week.
“That’s what’s really good about him and what every player should look up to him for. It’s the consistency.
“Sometimes in the past it was his putting that couldn’t give him the scores, and then something else, and then he really put everything together. His game is unbelievably good.”
The talented young Italian is one of the main challengers to McIlroy in Hong Kong, where the Northern Irishman is the reigning champion. McIlroy’s third place in Singapore meant he topped the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Everyone expects him to play perfect every week and score well every week, and that’s not easy, even when you have the best game in the world,” said Manassero.
“He’s been unbelievable lately, probably in the last two years, to do that. When he wants, he’s always up there.”