Thursday March 21, 2013
Manassero hopes rigorous fitness programme pay dividends
MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN
Italian sensation Matteo Manassero has improved on his fitness after a five-week programme which he hopes will pay dividends this weekend.
The 2011 winner has a string of records to mark his claim to fame as the youngest winner of the Seagram trophy. Now armed with a new fitness programme the Italian is hoping to improve further.
“I expect to improve. It’s obviously been great since I turned professional in 2010 and I’ve achieved things year after year which isn’t easy.
“If I win another event this year, it’ll be another great year. It’s very early in my career and while I must be proud of what I’ve done, I want to keep on improving,” he said.
Currently only 19, Manassero has already won three European Tour titles — the Castello Masters in Valencia in 2010, the Maybank Malaysia Open in 2011 and the Singapore Barclays Open last year.
He was the youngest player to win the Malaysian Open in 2011 for the Seagram trophy at the age of 17 years and in the process beating off the challenge of Rory Mcllroy of Ireland, the current world number one.
In April 2010, Manassero beat Bobby Cole’s 1967 record to become the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters, at 16 years and 11 months and 22 days.
The same year he also became the youngest player to win an European Tour event in Valencia.
The Masters record could go next month with China’s Guan Tianlang set to make his debut at the age of 14-years-old.
Manassero said yesterday that he had lost six kilos during the fitness programme and feels much better with his current physique.
“I did a lot of running and also strength training. The Maybank Malaysian Open is a test to gauge my current standard. Of course I would like to win again. But for now I would like to see how the physical changes will affect my game,” he said.
Manassero said he liked the KLGCC course and felt that it suited his game well.
Yesterday he took part in the Pro-Am partnering Malaysian amateur Gavin Kyle Green and Datuk Wong Sai Wan.
Manassero will also be playing with Gavin for the opening two rounds.
“Gavin is a really nice guy and plays really well. He’s got a strong game and it was nice for me to play with a very good amateur. But it was better for him to get to know me and maybe take a little bit of pressure off tomorrow. We spoke about the course and strategies. He hits it 40 yards further than me so he doesn’t need much advice!” he said.