Matteo Manassero secured a memorable second European Challenge Tour title on home soil at the Italian Challenge Open.
The four-time DP World Tour winner held a two-shot advantage heading into the final round and a five under par round of 67 meant he finished 21 under and three clear of Englishman Will Enefer, sparking emotional scenes on the 18th green at Golf Nazionale.
Manassero, the youngest winner in DP World Tour history, picked up his maiden Challenge Tour title at the Copenhagen Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel earlier this year and following a second triumph in his native Italy this week, has made giant strides towards making a heroic return to Europe’s top tier.
"It feels amazing," he said. "My goal this year was to win more than once. I won in Copenhagen to return to the winner’s circle and it’s so special to prove that I can do it again."
Germany's Marc Hammer finished in third place on 17 under par, while England's Alex Fitzpatrick finished a shot further behind in fourth.
Fitzpatrick recently booked his place for the forthcoming 151st Open Championship.
Frenchman Pierre Pineau carded the low round of the week, a ten under 62, to finish in a share of fifth place alongside countryman Robin Roussel, Welshman Jack Davidson and Denmark’s Nicolai Kristensen and Sebastian Friedrichsen on 14 under par.
Manassero climbs into second place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings on 949 points, still 32 points behind Frenchman Ugo Coussaud in pole position. Enefer catapults 43 places to 17th on the Rankings courtesy of his second place finish in Italy.
The Road to Mallorca now heads to Austria for the Euram Bank Open at GC Adamstal from July 13-16, 2023.
Words by Jay Aggarwal
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