TURNBERRY, Scotland – Matteo Manassero would fit into any college program anywhere in the United States. In fact, college coaches would shift heaven and earth to recruit the 16-year-old Italian.
It ain’t gonna happen.
Manassero reiterated his desire to finish high school and turn professional.
The kid from Verona has three years left of high school before he hits the European Tour.
Whether he graduates might be a moot point. With a joint 13th place finish in the Open Championship and the silver medal as leading amateur, Manassero proved he can play with the world’s best.
Perhaps more importantly, he proved that he can play faster than the world’s elite. He plays with a speed that is refreshing and sadly lacking in the pro game.
As for college golf, the answer is no.
Manassero, who got into this championship through winning the British Amateur Championship last year, said high school is a priority in his life.
However, it sounds as if it isn’t really his priority.
“My parents want me to finish school,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I will finish.”
He will be under pressure to turn pro sooner rather than later. He’s in the record books as the youngest winner of the British Amateur, and the youngest winner of the silver medal since the R & A introduced a prize for leading amateurs 60 years ago.
In August he will try to make more history when he attempts to become the first player to win the British Amateur and British Boys’ Championship in the same year. Manassero has entered the Boys Championship at Royal St George’s.
Manassero should make a fortune in the pro game. Too bad he won’t do so as NCAA champion.