Matteo Manassero became the youngest champion in the 58-year history of the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, beating 2010 winner Simon Khan of England on the fourth playoff hole to win his fourth European Tour title.
Aged 20 years, 37 days, the Italian made amends for letting victory slip at the tournament in 2011. The previous youngest winner was Bernhard Gallacher of Scotland at 20 years, 97 days in 1969.
Manassero has now qualified for next month’s US Open, avoiding a 36-hole qualifier on Monday at the Walton Heath course.
“I’m feeling amazing about this win. I also feel really proud and honored to have won the flagship event,” Manassero said. “I feel extremely happy. Extremely happy because this place has always had a real special feeling to me and I was in contention in 2011, [but] couldn’t do it.”
Marc Warren of Scotland (three-under 69), Manassero (69) and Khan (66) were tied at 10-under 278 after regulation play. Warren was eliminated following the first playoff hole after finding the trees off the 18th.
Khan and Manassero both made birdies on the first three playoff holes, before the Italian sealed victory with a par after Khan found the water guarding the green with his approach shot.
Manassero became the youngest winner on European Tour at 17 years, 188 days when capturing the 2010 Castellon Masters in Spain. He added a second title five months later by winning the 2011 Malaysian Open.
At the 2010 Masters, Manassero became the youngest player to make the cut and he won the Singapore Open in November last year.
Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia said he will meet Tiger Woods before the June 13 start of the US Open at Merion to apologize in person for his offensive comments directed at the 14-time major champion.
“I’ve talked with Tiger’s manager and asked him if he wanted us to call Tiger,” said Garcia, who finished tied for 19th. “Obviously, if he gives us the number, or wait for Merion and do it there face to face, but they said they would rather do it there. So, you know, there’s nothing else we can do, so we’ll wait until we get there and we’ll talk.”