Italian teen sensation, Matteo Manassero has confirmed his professional status ahead of the European Tour’s Italian Open, which starts on Thursday, May 6.

The 17-year-old, who has won the leading amateur award in the previous British Open and Masters championships, has teamed up with the world-renowned International Management Group (IMG).

The golfing prodigy said: “I feel ready to turn pro and am happy to play my first event as a professional in Italy.

“I am grateful that the Italian Federation and the sponsors have given me the opportunity to start my professional career at home in front of my family and friends and all those who have supported me throughout my amateur career.

“I hope to play well to reward their faith in me and to thank them for all their support.”

‚Ä®Manassero recently broke Bobby Cole’s 43-year record of the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters when he made the weekend at Augusta at the age of 16 years, 11 months and 22 days.

Matteo is a very special talent and a fantastic young man,” said Guy Kinnings, IMG’s european director of golf.

“He has been a wonderful ambassador for the amateur game and will be a great addition to the professional ranks.”

The Italian Open takes place at Royal Park, Turin, from May 6 – 9.

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