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July 19, 2009

Matteo Manassero


MATTEO MANASSERO: On the 2nd, right side, rough on the right, and then 6-iron over the green, chipped, two-putt.
On the 3rd, drive, rescue, 10 metres, holed it.
4th, 7-iron, smooth one, and like five metres.
7, drive, a bit on the right, then 3-iron, just one metre off the green short, I putted and I holed from two metres.
10th, 3-iron, 6-iron, three metres.
13, 3-iron, 9-iron in the rough on the left and then I didn't chip and putt.
15, 6-iron, four metres.
16, 3-wood, 6-iron, three-putted.
18, rescue, bunker on the left and nothing, put it out.
MALCOLM BOOTH: And then nearly holed the putt.
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yeah, nearly holed the putt.
MALCOLM BOOTH: How long would you say that putt was?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Not more than 15.
MALCOLM BOOTH: We're joined by Matteo Manassero, shot 69 today for a four-round total of 282, 2-over par, to win the Silver Medal as the leading amateur.
Matteo, a few weeks ago we met at Formby. You became the youngest amateur champion in the history of the Amateur Championship. This week you became the youngest Open Championship competitor in the modern era, and you've gone on to become the youngest winner of the Silver Medal since it was introduced 60 years ago. What are your feelings about the last six weeks and in particular the last four days?
MATTEO MANASSERO: The last few weeks, last few weeks I'm playing good, since last few weeks. So I'm very happy about this experience. Today was a good round and I got to win the Silver Medal, special for me. It's very good, great achievement.

Q. I see you are wearing the colors of the world champions, the Italian shirt?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yeah. Football, you mean?

Q. Yes.

Q. Do you love the football as much as the golf? Did you watch the --
MATTEO MANASSERO: No, I watch maybe more than golf because in Italy we used to have football more than golf on TV. But I like those two sports much than the others. I support AC Milan. We are not in a great moment. But I like football. I love it.

Q. Do you hope that you might one day be as big a star as one of the big footballers in Italy?
MATTEO MANASSERO: In Italy it is impossible because football stars always better than the other. And everyone speak more about the football stars than every other sport, so, I mean, to get close to one of them would be great.

Q. Seve did it in Spain.

Q. I said, Seve did it in Spain.
MATTEO MANASSERO: Seve did it in Spain, yes. Oh, well, I mean --

Q. You said yesterday that you want to finish school before you turn professional.

Q. Do you think that would be difficult, and do you expect to be under a lot of pressure to turn pro before that? Are you prepared for that?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Maybe yes, maybe no. I'm not sure. But I will -- I want to finish the school. My parents want me to finish the school, and I'm pretty sure I will finish it.

Q. What has been, in your words, the strength of your game this week? Do you understand?

Q. Okay. Why have you played so well this week? What have you done so well? What aspect of your game has been so good?
MATTEO MANASSERO: From tee-to-green, I think. From tee-to-green I played really always straight. Sometimes I missed but I recover. So not the putter, absolutely not the putter. Today I holed a few putts, but from tee-to-green was the best part, I think, during the week.

Q. I'd just like to ask who your idols are.
MATTEO MANASSERO: My idols? My idols, Seve and then Costantino Rocca is Italian. But, I mean, Seve or something was a true idol because was different from the others.
Now a little bit -- I don't want to say all the same, but, I mean, always all the good players play a good game and hole some putts. It is different. Seve was playing another golf. I don't know how to say it. But now I have a lot of players that I like.

Q. How much of a help to you through the first couple of days was having Tom Watson there? He spoke to you continually through the first round. He seemed to take a lot of pressure from you and help you. How much of a bonus was that?
MATTEO MANASSERO: That was -- playing with Tom Watson I grow up a little bit because even if he doesn't say something to you, even if he doesn't give you advice, you grow up watching him. So it was great.

Q. Did you watch the leaderboards today? At one point you actually got pretty close to the lead.
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yes, and then I three-putted. (Laughter.)

Q. So you looked at the leaderboards?
MATTEO MANASSERO: No. I looked at the leaderboard for looking who was leading. And I saw my name, oh, all right.

Q. Do you think you had a chance maybe at one point?
MATTEO MANASSERO: No, I think they going to win with like 3-under, something like this. And I was level, so no. I mean if I went 5-under or something like this, I would get close, but, no, not really.

Q. How many more years have you got? You say you want to finish school. How many more years is that?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Three, I've got three more years.

Q. Would you then go to university?

Q. Definitely not?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Definitely not. Definitely I would turn pro after that.

Q. And what is your favourite subject at school? What do you like most?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Subject at school? Tough question, huh?

Q. Sport?
MATTEO MANASSERO: I will say no sport. I'm going to say math. That's the one, math. And I don't like Italian, letters. I mean I don't know how you call it, literature. Yeah, I don't like that. But math and history, two of my favourites.

Q. Recent winners of the Silver Medal have been Rory McIlroy and Chris Wood, and both have gone on to contend very highly in the big events. Do you want that same sort of future for yourself?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yes, like Rory McIlroy would be good, uh-huh.

Q. You seem very comfortable on the course. You're very natural and you've got a good relationship with your caddie. Who is it that caddies for you, and how much of an impact has he had on you?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Well, it was very important for me the caddie, my coach and caddie. I have a great -- he's a great friend of mine. We have, I don't know how would you say, like an uncle for me and was very important this week and was very important the British Amateur.
MALCOLM BOOTH: That's Alberto Binaghi?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Alberto Binaghi, yes.

Q. How have you adapted to well to these types of courses, to links golf courses, because you wouldn't be used to them presumably?
MATTEO MANASSERO: Yes, but we used to play a lot of links course because our national team coach, that's Alberto, my caddie, wants us to play a lot of links golf, into the wind. I'm always getting more comfortable. I have a low trajectory, so I'm comfortable on these type of courses.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Well played, congratulations. Thank you for coming in.

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