Italy's Matteo Manassero became the youngest ever winner of the BMW PGA Championship as he claimed his fourth European Tour title at the age of 20 on the fourth hole of a sudden-death play-off at the magical Wentworth club.
It what was a testing week due to the ever changing weather conditions, the Italian (DryJoys Tour and StaSof) held strong scoring 4, 5, 4, and 4 in the play-off to take the title.
Overnight leader Alejandro Cañizares (Contour and SciFlex) missed from 18 feet on the last for an eagle to join the play-off and Lee Westwood (FJ ICON and StaSof) held a two shot lead after birdies on the second, third and fourth, but the Worksop born professional couldn’t keep his momentum playing the back nine and he finished equal ninth.
Manassero who looked very comfortable on the range at the start of the week shot rounds of 69, 71, 69 and 69 – a total of 10 under par and at the age 20 years and 37 days, beats the previous record of Bernard Gallacher, who was 20 years and 97 days when he won in 1969.
"I feel unbelievable, really emotional," The Italian announced after his dramatic win.
"It's been an amazing week. I have always felt something really special about this place and this tournament. Everything has come together this week. I managed to play well and managed to stay in contention after a tough day on Friday and pulled it off with this play-off."
"I am the happiest man in the world right now."
Shoe Count:FJ - 55%Nearest Comp. - 21%
FootJoy ended 2009 just how it began...as the #1 Shoe and Glove at retail and on professional Tours around the world. Our Tour success featured memorable performances from some of the Tour's biggest stars. We recently caught up with a few FJ players to talk about the year that was and look ahead to 2010.
What was your favorite golf memory this year, either from the professional Tours or in your own game? Click on COMMENTS to share your thoughts.
Steve Stricker (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) made a run at Player of the Year honors on the heels of three strong wins throughout the year. After beginning the year with five top 10 finishes, Stricker captured his first win of the year in a playoff at Colonial when he stuck his approach to 3 feet on the second hole of sudden death. He was back for more at the John Deere Classic and set the course record with a 61 in round two before closing with a final round 64 to notch his second win in four starts. Strick then notched arguably the biggest victory of his career when he birdied the final two holes to win the Deutsche Bank Championship during the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Lee Westwood (FJ ICON, PureTouch Limited) finishes the year as the highest placed European in the Official World Golf Rankings having won the inaugural Race to Dubai on the European Tour. He last won the Harry Vardon trophy in 2000, reaching Number Four in the World in the process, and equaled that feat in a momentous 2009 campaign. His superb season, capped by victories in the Portugal Masters and the Dubai World Championship, was one of the many highlights of an outstanding year.
Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) continued to work on some major swing changes and saw the fruits of his labor towards the end of the season. Beginning with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitaitonal, Harrington reeled off an incredible string of six consecutive top ten finishes, including all four FedEx Cup Playoff events which feature some of the strongest fields of the year.
Zach Johnson (SYNR-G, StaSof) got the year started off right by defeating fellow FJ
players Adam Scott and David Toms in the first full field event of the
year at the Sony Open in Hawaii then successfully defended his title at
the Valero Texas Open.