Italian teenage golfing sensation Matteo Manassero announced today that he has turned professional and signed with IMG, the world’s leading sports, entertainment and media company, for worldwide management and marketing representation.
Manassero, who turned 17 on April 19th, will play in this week’s BMW Italian Open in his first start as a professional. His debut marks an end to his amateur career, during which he rose to #1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and set numerous records for his achievements in the sport’s most prestigious amateur and professional tournaments.
Matteo’s decorated résumé as an amateur was highlighted by a victory at the 2009 British Amateur Championship, where he became the youngest ever winner of the event at 16-years-old and became only the third player to win both the match play and stroke play portions of the event. As British Amateur Champion, he received coveted invitations to the 2009 Open Championship and the 2010 Masters Tournament, where he continued to demonstrate his promise while competing alongside the world’s best professionals.
“I feel ready to turn pro and am happy to play my first event as a professional in Italy at the BMW Italian Open,” said Manassero. “I am grateful that the Italian Federation and the sponsors have given me the opportunity to start my professional career at home in front of my family and friends and all those who have supported me throughout my amateur career. I hope to play well to reward their faith in me and to thank them for all their support.”
He continued, “I am also very excited to be managed by IMG. My focus is to play good golf and get comfortable with life as a professional and it is reassuring to have a company with as much experience and expertise as IMG in my corner helping to guide me through this next phase of my career.”
At the 2009 Open Championship last July, Matteo finished T-13th to claim the Silver Medal as the Championship’s lowest amateur and become the youngest player to earn this distinction in 60 years. At the 2010 Masters in April, Matteo became the youngest competitor in the history of the event at only 16-years-old. His admirable finish of T-36th assured him the low amateur honours and in so doing he became the first British Amateur Champion to make the cut since Sergio Garcia in 1999 and the youngest player in history to do so. Throughout his amateur career, Matteo successfully made the cut in six of seven professional events in which he competed.
“Matteo is a very special talent and a fantastic young man,” said Guy Kinnings, IMG’s Director of Golf, EAME. “He is great company and has been a wonderful ambassador for the amateur game and will be a great addition to the professional ranks. He has a bright future ahead of him and we take great pride in the fact that he trusts IMG to support him and his family. The global nature of our company, with its personal level of service and unparalleled resources, means that we are well equipped to represent Matteo around the world in all aspects of his career – both on and off course. I look forward to working with him in what I hope will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”
Jon Heaton, Vice President of IMG Golf, added, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Matteo as he begins his professional career. His talent is clear, but we are just as excited about his enthusiasm and love of the game. He is an impressive young man and will certainly be one to watch for years to come.”
Guy Kinnings and Jon Heaton will lead Matteo’s worldwide team at IMG which will include Clarke Jones, Gorka Guillen, Matteo Mammi and Katie Troughton.
Matteo’s achievements don’t stop on the golf course. Last October, he assisted the International Golf Federation in presenting its successful bid to the International Olympic Federation, alongside Padraig Harrington, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen, to include golf on the programme for the 2016 Summer Games. His youth, talent and charisma were acknowledged to represent the future of world golf.
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