Manassero looking to secure Masters place at Transitions Championship

Manassero looking to secure Masters place at Transitions Championship
This week has already seen action on the US PGA Tour, with a two-day event taking place in Florida on Monday and Tuesday.

The Tavistock Cup, which featured the likes of Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell, pitted four golf clubs against each other in a Ryder Cup-style competition.

A seven-under-par round of 65 by Oliver Wilson helped the Lake Nona club to victory, with the Englishman also taking the individual honours.

Also taking place on the US PGA Tour this week is the Transitions Championship.

One of the players looking to make an impression at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club near Palm Harbor, Florida, is Matteo Manassero.

The 17-year-old is playing in his second US PGA Tour of the year in a bid to make the field at the US Masters, which starts on April 7th.

Despite being the youngest person to ever win an event on the European Tour, Manassero is not resting on his laurels and is working on various aspects of his game.

In particular, he is focusing on strength and conditioning in order to improve his performance with his Titleist 910D2 driver.

Manassero is hopeful that this work will pay off should he make the Masters field in two weeks' time.

"I'm working physically," he confirmed.

"There's a lot involved in the game to get some yardage to carry with the driver, which is obviously important in courses like Augusta."

However, the Italian is not only concentrating on improving his tee shots - he is also practising with his Scotty Cameron Studio Select putter.

"I'm working a lot to be always more and more consistent and not have any rounds in which the putter doesn't work at all. So try to be more consistent on the greens," he confirmed.

The world number 55's main competition at the Transitions Championship is likely to come from Martin Kaymer, defending champion Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington and Zach Johnson.

Over on the European Tour, the absence of big names like Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy will give the likes of Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson and Yonex Golf NanoSpeed 3i Irons user Colin Montgomerie the chance to shine at the inaugural Sicilian Open.

Italian golf is going from strength to strength at present, largely thanks to the exploits of Manassero and Ryder Cup stars Eduardo and Francesco Molinari.

According to former Open Championship runner-up Costantino Rocca, a second European Tour event will only help the game grow in the country.

"It's very important for golf in Italy that we have another European Tour event as well as the BMW Italian Open," he commented.

"Sponsors want to see more tournaments and to attract more people. We have the facilities, the courses, the weather and some good young players coming through, so we need to promote golf in this way, through tournaments."

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