Italian teenager wins Malaysian Open

BY foxsports • April 17, 2011

Italian teenager Matteo Manassero eagled the par-5 10th hole Sunday to help secure a one-shot win over Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the Malaysian Open.

Two days before his 18th birthday, Manassero added two more birdies on the back nine on his way to a 4-under-par 68 to finish with a 16-under total of 272. Bourdy made a charge at the lead with four consecutive birdies from the third hole, but he bogeyed the eighth and had a double bogey on the 11th. He finished with a total of eight birdies in a 67.

Rory McIlroy (69) settled for third, two shots back, after holding the second-round lead as he tried to bounce back from his collapse at the Masters.

The Northern Irishman had four birdies and his only bogey on the first 11 holes but seemingly fell out of contention with a double bogey on the 12th. However, he rallied with three more birdies and could have forced a playoff with another birdie on the 18th, but his hopes evaporated when his second shot went too far to the right. Masters champion Charl Schwartzel finished with a final-round 70 that left him in a tie for 12th at 7 under.

But, as he was at the Masters, McIlroy was the story.

"Obviously, at this moment, I'm pretty disappointed, but it was a good week," McIlroy said. "I started out really well, and to shoot the scores I did considering the traveling, is a pretty good effort. . . .

"I'm proud of myself at how I picked myself up from last week and the way I came back on the back nine today."

McIlroy, who had to take a nearly 30-hour flight to Malaysia and arrived only a day before the tournament began, looked visibly tired during the final round, despite maintaining his smile for the huge crowd swarming around him.

However, his caddie ran out of patience when some spectators ignored the ban on taking photographs while players were teeing off and asked officials to confiscate some of the cameras.

Manassero, who became the European Tour's youngest winner with his victory last year at the Castello Masters, said it was "just fantastic" to earn another trophy before turning 18.

"It was tough," he said. "'The course is really tight, and all the players were doing good and playing well. It's just not easy to concentrate, especially to stay calm."

Top-ranked Martin Kaymer was eight shots back in a tie for ninth.

Manassero will move up to 35th in the world ranking next week. He received $416,6660 for winning the tournament, becoming the Malaysian Open's youngest winner.


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