Sixteen-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero has announced he is to turn professional after next month’s US Masters.

Manassero will be the youngest-ever player to compete at Augusta in Apri, but announced his decision to leave his amateur days behind at a golf show in his home town of Verona, and his first outing in the paid ranks will be at the Italian Open in Turin on May 6-9.

The Italian beat Golf Monthly’s touring professional Sam Hutsby to become the British amateur champion at Formby last year, before going on to finish 13th in the Open where he played alongside Tom Watson and Sergio Garcia for the first two rounds. 

Manassero will be one of four teenagers competing at The Masters. United States champion An Byeong-hun, the son of two Olympic table tennis medallists, turned 18 last September and is the same age as compatriot Han Chang-won, winner of the inaugural Asian Amateur crown.

Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa also qualifies courtesy of the fact he is ranked inside the world’s top 50 following multiple wins on the Japanese Tour.

The US Masters gets underway at Augusta National on April 8-11.

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