Matteo Manassero became the youngest ever player to win the PGA Championship at Wentworth as he triumphed over Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a long play-off. The four extra holes provided a thrilling spectacle with Marc Warren dropping out on the first hole. All three play-off golfers finished the initial tournament on 10 under, one shot ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alejandro Canizares. Ernie Els, James Kingston and Eddie Pepperell all finished on 8 under.
Matteo Manassero is 60 days younger than Bernard Gallacher who was previously the youngest golfer to win the PGA Championship at Wentworth in 1969 when he was 20 years and 97 days old. Matteo Manassero, who has now qualified for the US Open and Open Championships, commented after the tournament, “It’s been an amazing week, I’ve always felt something special about this place and this tournament. I’m the happiest man in the world right now.”
The play-off challenger, Simon Khan, had a similar tournament this time to when he won at Wentworth three years ago. He closed the tournament with a 66 on both occasions, but this year he was forced to wait 90 minutes before he knew he was going to be in a play-off with the young Italian. During that wait, there was small scare from Marc Warren who managed to birdie four straight holes after the 10th to give him the clear lead. However, he dropped a shot on the 15th which left him level with Matteo Manassero and Khan.
Lee Westwood, who has twice finished runner-up at Wentworth but has never won the tournament, birdied the 2nd, 3rd and 4th to take a two-shot lead at 11 under. Westwood then quickly lost his form bogeying the 6th and 7th but still managed to keep the lead at the 10th hole. From then onwards, the tournament went downhill for the world number 12 who hit his tee shot on the 12th into the trees and bogeyed again two holes later to see himself out of the tournament.
Author Daniel Foster.
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