Dan Wetzel:

17-year-old Matteo Manassero continues to tear it up

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

View photo

.
What makes a golfer a phenom? Press coverage? Victory? Acclaim? If so, Matteo Manassero is a legit phenom.

Less than one month removed from being the youngest winner ever on the European Tour, Manassero is now in the hunt at the Hong Kong Open against a tough field. He carded a second-round 63 to put himself within three strokes of Mr. Almost-59 Ian Poulter's lead. Also in the mix: Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and a bunch of guys you've never heard of. (All the Gareth Maybin fans in the house, wave your hands! How about the Fabrizio Zanotti contingent? Anyone?)

Anyway, it's not worth praising Manassero too much, even though the freaking kid is only 17. There's many a slip 'tween teen prodigy and golf immortal. Still, the guy seems extraordinarily grounded, or at least he knows the right things to say (via AP): "You always try to keep your feet down in the ground, and that’s always been my family, that gave me education and educated me that way, which is very important for me, for this life, everybody."

Good to know, except for that "feet down in the ground" part. Makes it tough to get good turn on the ball that way. Still, the way he's playing, maybe we ought to take a closer look at it.

The Hong Kong Open continues this weekend. And it'll be done before you get up Sunday morning, so be sure to check the results before you go to bed Saturday night for betting purposes.

View Comments (0)