GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – Italy’s Renato Paratore might remind you of someone – fellow countryman Matteo Manassero.
Both players play a similar game: They play fast, they hit a lot of greens and most of the time while on the course, they both have a smile on their face.
The only difference: Paratore is playing in his first Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, while Manassero is playing on the European Tour in his fifth full season as a pro.
But Paratore looks up to Manassero, whom he has played with multiple times in European Tour practice rounds and at Manassero’s home course, Royal Park, in Torino, Italy.
“He has helped me with studying the course, and helps my mind (mental) game during the tournaments,” Paratore said.
Paratore is tied for sixth entering the final round of the Junior Invitational after rounds of 72-73 for a 1-over 145 total.
The 17-year-old reached 1 under for the tournament, but got to the treacherous 17th hole and made a double bogey after finding the water on his third shot from the greenside bunker.
A member of the Italian National Team since the age of 13, Paratore has done his fair share of traveling the world and playing the game he loves.
He is very appreciative of being on the National Team and being able to travel the world with team manager Gianluca Baldasso.
Paratore, who has three European Tour starts under his belt, is making his second start in the U.S. in the last four months. He won the Junior Orange Bowl in December and added that he likes playing golf in the U.S. because of “the quality of fairways and the bunkers. The greens here are so fast.”
The 28th-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings doesn’t plan to come back to the U.S. until the end of December to defend his Junior Orange Bowl title at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla.
Before his return, Paratore will play in the British Amateur and represent Italy in the Youth Olympics. He will also play in other Italian amateur events and two European Tour events, the Spanish and Italian Open.
Heading into the Saturday’s final round in South Carolina, Paratore is only five shots back of leader Scottie Scheffler, and since the tournaments inception in 2011, no international player has won this tournament.
Paratore said he has seen larger comebacks, and, especially at Sage Valley, anything could happen.