2009 Spirit Alum, Manassero earns European ROY

November 30th 2010 - Courtesy: Associated Press

VIRGINIA WATER, England – Matteo Manassero is the PGA European Tour’s Rookie of the Year after becoming the youngest player to win a tour event.

The Italian finished 31st on the European money list with $1.17 million following a season in which he won October’s Castello Masters at the age of 17 years and 188 days.

Manassero says he “never expected to win on tour so quickly.”

In April, he also became the youngest amateur to compete in the Masters and the youngest player to make the cut.

Manassero joins a group that includes Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia in winning the award.

The Italian says “it is such a special award because you only get one chance to win it.”