Manassero shines like a young Seve



Senor Ballesteros would have been proud of Signor Manassero. If anybody sums up the legacy the Spanish great would have loved to have left the Seve Trophy with,it is surely this stunning young Italian.

There have been more fake heirs to Ballesteros than there was to Henry VIII. But this boy wonder plays like Seve did, swaggers like Seve did, pays absurd disregard to age barriers like Seve did – and the way in which the 18-year-old threw his ball into the lake on the 18th on the first day , and then the way in which he responded, shows the way he takes it as personally as Seve did, too.

Matteo Manassero is a Ryder Cup natural waiting to happen and the only argument is how soon he makes his debut. Lee Westwood has a slight doubt whether Manassero will qualify for Chicago next year – "he's too young, isn't he?" – while Ian Poulter has another theory. "The thing with Matteo is that he may be only 18 but he is so very consistent," said the Englishman. "You can see him racking up enough points to qualify for 2012."

Certainly the youngest player ever to win on the European Tour has the spirit. Seve would disagree, but perhaps Manassero, at this tender age, possesses too much spirit. As his ball went splash on Thursday night and his visor went down for the very first time on Tour he looked his age. "I had to speak with him in the locker room afterwards for 45 minutes," said Jean Van de Velde, the captain of the Continental team. "And then Jose Maria Olazabal spoke to him for 20 minutes."

A lot was said to the Manassero and at least some of it was digested. After recovering from the last-gasp agony to Darren Clarke and David Horsey – when Manassero's long putt to halve the match was two rolls too short – he and his partner, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, beat Ross Fisher and Scott Jamieson by two holes. What was most impressive was the steel with which they held on as their opponents whittled down what had been a commanding advantage.

"Matteo and Nico performed under a severe amount of pressure," said Van de Velde. " They were three-up with four to play and were only one up with two to play. They then finished with a birdie, another birdie and won their game. Matteo is going to be around for very many Seve Trophies and very many Ryder Cups."

Nobody was doubting Van de Velde on that score. Indeed, it was a convincing day all over for the maverick Frenchman. After enduring a miserable fourball opening which the Continentals lost 4-1, they won this fourball session 31/2-11/2. The rousing comeback means that Paul McGinley's Great Britain and Ireland team head into the weekend with a nervous advantage. With four foursomes and four greensomes today followed by 10 singles tomorrow, the competition begins for real now. And with so many rookies on McGinley's roster the next two days will make for intriguing viewing – Manassero's matches especially.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments