Manassero not feeling home pressure
Matteo Manassero is not worried by the great expectation on his shoulders as he bids to win his home Italian Open this week.
Manassero, who claimed his second European Tour title this year at the Malaysian Open before he was 18, has grown in confidence following the remarkable success which has taken him to number 30 in the world rankings.
"Everything has happened so fast for me," Manassero, the tour's youngest winner when he took the Castello Masters title last year to earn Europe's rookie of the year award, told reporters. "I'm amazed how fast.
"Last year, my first season, my goal was just to make my tour card, but it went much better than that."
When he turned professional at this event last year, though, on the back of his 2009 Amateur Championship victory and being the world's number one amateur, Manassero did not feel as confident.
"At last year's (Italian) Open it was tough when I when I didn't know what would happen. People in Italy knew my amateur career and were expecting me to perform in professional golf.
"I manage expectations a bit better now. I have had to grow up quickly and learn quickly. I have gained experience and confidence from playing well.
"As well as trying to win this week I am looking forward to my first US Open, more learning for me."
Francesco Molinari, 10 places higher than his 18-year-old compatriot in the rankings, will bid to lift the home crowds again as he did when winning the title in 2006.
Colin Montgomerie comes into the tournament after a dismal week in which he failed to qualify for the U.S. and British Opens and recorded his worst 36-hole score in 20 years at the Wales Open.
The eight-times European number one can still make it to Sandwich for the Open Championship through a high finish in a mini order of merit which goes on until the week before the championship.