Golf

Teen topples Oosthuizen in Singapore

Matteo Manassero
Matteo Manassero played 33 holes Sunday while winning the Singapore Open.
GolfWeek Nick Masuda
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Matteo Manassero, 19, holed a 12-foot eagle putt on the third playoff hole against Louis Oosthuizen to win his third career European PGA Tour title on Sunday at the Singapore Open.

Here are Five Things to take away from Manassero's victory:

1. Manassero for three!

Three was definitely Matteo Manassero's lucky number on Sunday as he knocked off Oosthuizen on the third playoff hole for his third career victory on the European PGA Tour.

He also had to play 33 regulation holes on Sunday, completing his rain-shortened third round.

Manassero is the first teenager to win three Euro Tour titles. He won his first at the age of 17, the youngest ever on the Euro Tour.

The 19-year-old's steady 2-under-par 69 in the final round Sunday backed up an impressive 7-under 64 third round to help him secure the title. He birdied the par-5 18th hole to move into the playoff.

"It's been an extremely long day. The adrenaline kept me going and fortunately the key, I think, it was starting really well this morning after coming back on the course," said Manassero, who is the youngest player to ever make the cut at the Masters (16). "I started with some birdies in a row which was very good."

Manassero took advantage of an unlikely birdie miss by Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole, with the South African's 6-footer lipping out on the right.

The promising teen star broke a winless drought of more than 18 months and says that his third year as a pro has been his toughest.

"It's been very frustrating at times," he said. "I had to be more clear in my mind thinking that I started my career really well, but it's very early. I've got many years. This is the time in which I really need to step my game up, make technical changes and adjusting myself.

"I didn't have some great results for something like a year, a little ups and downs. Obviously, it was frustrating."

2. Mission accomplished

EUROPEAN TOUR

Only 19, Matteo Manassero has three career wins after taking the Singapore Open title.

Rory McIlroy fired a 6-under 65 on Sunday to secure the European Tour money title by finishing solo third in the tournament. He's the second golfer to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles in the same season.

Luke Donald did it last year.

McIlroy had a bogey-free round on Sunday, picking up four birdies and an eagle at the par-5 18th hole.

"I set myself a target today to finish on 10 under, get myself into double digits under par, and a couple of birdies on the back nine and was trying to keep pushing and pushing," McIlroy said. "Obviously it was great to finish with an eagle on the last but I was not thinking of anything else other than hit a good putt."

3. Playoffs? We're talking playoffs?

Oosthuizen can't be a big fan of playoffs after a pair of big losses in extra holes this season.

You'll remember that the South African also fell to Bubba Watson on the second hole of a playoff at the Masters in April.

But Oosthuizen's loss stung a bit more this time around because he was one of the few that could actually catch McIlroy in the Race for Dubai, and the title would have kept those hopes alive.

Oosthuizen played 31 holes on Sunday and picked up 12 birdies in the process. But bogeys at Nos. 12 and 13 proved costly as he tried to fend off Manassero.

4. It's not how you start . . .

And the finish wasn't pretty for Thomas Bjorn. After jumping out to a one-shot lead through 36 holes, Bjorn played his final 36 holes in even par, including a dismal 3-over 74.

Four back-nine bogeys in the third round effectively took Bjorn out of the tournament, although a 3-under 68 in the final round salvaged a fourth-place finish, four shots behind Manassero.

LEADERBOARD

How did your favorite golfer fare? Visit our European Tour leaderboard.

5. Short shots

• Phil Mickelson finished strong after just making the cut. With rounds of 69-67 on the weekend, Mickelson finished in a tie for 14th.

• Low score of the day on final-round Sunday went to McIlroy with a 6-under 65.

• Three players failed to break 80 on the final day, including Gregory Havret, whose claim to fame was his runner-up finish at the 2010 US Open.

• Paul Casey finished in the top-10 in his last three European Tour starts. Before that his best finish was tied for 25th back in April.

Cassie Stein contributed to this report.

Tagged: Matteo Manassero, Louis Oosthuizen, Rory McIlroy, Thomas Bjorn

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