VIRGINIA WATER, England, May 20 (Reuters) - Matteo Manassero feels it may be a little premature to talk of the Italian golden boy as a likely Ryder Cup debutant at Gleneagles in September.
Manassero, who became the youngest winner on the European Tour when he lifted the 2010 Castello Masters title in Spain at the age of 17, recorded the biggest victory of his career in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth 12 months ago.
The world number 59 has suffered something of a golfing lull over the past year and is not sure if he would be a help or a hindrance when Europe take on the United States in the biennial team event in Scotland.
”I would not be disappointed if I don’t make the Ryder Cup team,“ the 21-year-old Manassero told reporters on Tuesday. ”The reason why is because the team is really competitive and the 12 guys that are on that team will deserve it.
”It would be an amazing achievement because it’s such a hard team to make and because I didn’t start (the qualifying process) so well.
“It’s hard to answer the question of whether I’d be ready or not. I would be ready to give 110 percent to the team, I can promise you that, but I don’t know if I will get in that position.”
Manassero, who will accompany Ryder Cup veterans Lee Westwood and Justin Rose in a first-round threeball at Wentworth on Thursday, is tingling with anticipation ahead of his title defence at the tour’s flagship event.
“This is always a special week but it’s even more special this time after what happened to me here last year, that’s for sure,” said the four-times tour winner.
”I feel like I am in a special place, there is something extra to it because I know it’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life.
“If I come back here in 10 years I will still remember last year’s win. I have got it recorded on TV but I remember everything,” said Manassero who also became the first teenager to win three European Tour events when he captured the 2012 Singapore Open crown.
“I’ve got it in my mind so much that I don’t really need to see it but I have watched it quite a few times.” (Editing by Julien Pretot)