As the youngest-ever European Tour champion and youngest to make the cut at the Masters, Italian sensation Matteo Manassero has done plenty of things right in his short career-to-date.
Having announced his name on the world stage when landing the Castello Masters as a 17-year-old last year, before adding the Malaysian Open in April, Manassero has been chasing the shadows of his fellow fresh-faced generation of Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler in recent months.
It showed again two weeks ago when Manassero missed the cut at the Australian Masters.
But the now 18-year-old knows exactly why he stalled in the latter stages of 2011 - accepting he tried to ease himself through his first full season on the European Tour. Don't expect the same laidback attitude next season.
“Next year I’m going to play a little bit more and make more runs of three or four tournaments in a row just to keep the momentum going,” said Manassero, who intends to play more than 30 events in Europe next season, instead of the 22 this year.
“That’s what I really need. Many times I stopped for two weeks and then I came back to the tournament and it felt like it was the first for the year. It’s not a matter of being tired, I just want to play a little bit more.”
Despite conceding everything came in a rush ever since making the cut at Augusta as a tender 16-year-old, Manassero believes he’s learning more about himself and his game every day.
“It came much quicker than what I thought, but because I pass through this moment of not scoring that well, you understand yourself a little bit more,” added Manassero, who has picked up just one top-20 finish in his last 12 events on the European Tour.
“I'm also growing mentally and growing physically. I’ve got a lot of time ahead of me. I’m enjoying it more than perhaps somebody that’s been doing it for 25 years.”