Italy’s Matteo Manassero came through a three-man playoff to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. At just 20 years old, he’s the youngest ever winner of the event.
Manassero closed with a final round of 69 to match the four-round total of 10-under-par set by 2010 champion Simon Khan and Marc Warren of Scotland.
Alejandro Canizares led by a shot overnight from England’s Lee Westwood, but the Spaniard couldn’t stay at the top of the leaderboard. He had a 20-foot eagle putt on the last green to make it into the playoff, but it wouldn’t drop and he had to be content with a tie for fourth with fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Westwood took the lead early in the final round but he limped home in 40 to fall out of contention and eventually finish tied ninth.
Simon Khan was five behind coming into Sunday but, just as he did in 2010, he closed with a scintillating 66 to roar through the field. He set the clubhouse target and nobody was able to better it.
Only Manassero and Warren managed to match Khan’s score so the three of them headed back to the 18th to decide the fate of the tournament over sudden-death.
Warren was eliminated on the first extra hole after he drove into the trees. It took four trips down the closing hole to separate Manassero and Khan. The final time down, Khan found the water with his second and the Italian youngster reached the green in two. Khan pitched on and had a putt for five, but Manassero calmly two-putted for a four to take the title.
“I feel unbelievable, really emotional,” said Manassero. “It’s been an amazing week. I have always felt something really special about this place and this tournament. Everything has come together this week. I managed to play well and managed to stay in contention after a tough day on Friday and pulled it off with this play-off. I am the happiest man in the world right now.”
With the win Manassero has moved into the top 30 on the Official World Golf Ranking. He has earned a European Tour exemption until the end of 2018, a three-year exemption for the Open and a place in this year’s US Open.
BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Club, Surrey, England
May 23-26, purse €4,750,000 par 72
1 Matteo Manassero (Ita) 69 71 69 69 278 €791,660
T2 Simon Khan (Eng) 69 72 71 66 278 €412,560
T2 Marc Warren (Sco) 69 70 70 69 278 €412,560
T4 Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 69 70 68 72 279 €219,450
T4 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 76 69 67 67 279 €219,450
T6 Ernie Els (RSA) 72 69 72 67 280 €142,500
T6 James Kingston (RSA) 66 77 69 68 280 €142,500
T6 Eddie Pepperell (Eng) 71 69 71 69 280 €142,500
T9 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 70 68 73 70 281 €96,267
T9 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 71 75 66 69 281 €96,267
T9 Lee Westwood (Eng) 70 71 67 73 281 €96,267
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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