Strange as it seems, there were more golfers on the course in Augusta than just Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and a couple other dudes. It's true! And as we leave Magnolia Lane and put Augusta National in our rear-view mirror, we want to take a moment to tip our visor to Matteo Manassero.
Surely you heard of Matteo over the weekend, and if you didn't, you're probably going to be hearing about him plenty for the next, oh, fifty years or so.
Manassero is all of 16 years old, and if he has a reasonably competent golf career, he could remain in the public eye through 2060. (Try not to think too hard about where you might be then.)
Now, the temptation is to paint this guy, like so many before him, as the next coming of Arnie/Jack/Tiger, but let's not do that. Instead, let's just focus on what he's actually accomplished. He was the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters, and the first amateur to do so since 1999. He ended up tied for 36th at +4, which is the same score as U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, two strokes better than Camilo Villegas and ten strokes better than Sergio Garcia.
Manassero, who's still in high school, will be turning pro in May, playing the Italian Open, the British Open and six other tourneys as he tries to earn his European Tour card.
And amid all the hullaballoo that's coming his way, he's trying to keep grounded with the help of mom and dad. "I always want to stay levelheaded since that’s the education that my parents gave me," he said after Saturday's round. "So my parents help me, also, in this period to stay more level as I can."
So far, so good. We'll keep you posted on Matteo's progress.