Manassero Hails Wentworth Fans After PGA Playoff Win

by
Reuters
Italy's Matteo Manassero saluted the knowledgeable Wentworth crowds after pulling off the biggest victory of his short career by winning the prestigious PGA Championship on Sunday.

Matteo Manassero at 2013 BMW PGA Championship

Italy's Matteo Manassero saluted the knowledgeable Wentworth crowds after pulling off the biggest victory of his short career by winning the prestigious PGA Championship on Sunday.

The 20-year-old landed the all-important blow with a birdie four at the fourth hole of a playoff with Britain's Simon Khan after the pair had finished the tournament tied on 10-under-par.

Briton Marc Warren also recorded a 278 total but he dropped out of the playoff after hitting a wayward drive at the first extra hole and having to go back to the tee for his third stroke.

"The crowd in general this week have been unbelievable," the 20-year-old Manassero told reporters after becoming the youngest winner in the 58-year history of the European Tour's flagship event.

"I think the weekend action they got to see was a reward for the people that were here on Friday," he added referring to the eight degree Celsius temperatures, driving rain and winds gusting up to 25 kms an hour that took a hold in the second round.

"There were a lot of people watching in that weather and they helped me a lot over the weekend and in the playoff, shouting my name and supporting me.

"That's important, if it had been the opposite it would have been really hard to take. They were looking for some good golf and that's because here they really understand what golf is about," added Manassero.

"They don't really care if you're British or European or whatever, they just look for some fun and that's what makes this week special."

Former world number one Lee Westwood started the final round one shot off the lead, and as the title favourite, but said he had to battle against technical faults on Sunday.

"I'm struggling in my swing a little bit at the moment and when you're in the last round it just gets found out," said the Florida-based Briton after finishing three strokes off the playoff with a 73.

"I have to play a cautious game when I haven't got much control and aim away from the flags. My technique's not sound at the moment, it's very handsy and a bit flicky," added Westwood who is still searching for his first victory of the year.

Sergio Garcia, who captured most of the attention this week after his racism row with world number one Tiger Woods, was five strokes off the playoff after closing with a 72 and said he simply ran out of gas.

"I wasn't really on my best game today but I guess it's been a long week," said the Spaniard. "There's been a lot of emotions going on and today I felt it a little bit."