In Week 16, the WAGR Number One, Matteo Manassero, secured what is likely to be his final amateur victory before turning professional by lifting the Trofeo Umberto Agnelli at Royal Park I Roveri Golf & Country Club. Two rounds of 71 were followed by a 70 and a 68, leaving the Italian teenager, who finished tied for 36th at the Masters Tournament the previous week, on a total of 280, six shots clear of second-placed Andrea Bolognesi.
The young azzurro, now 17, plans to take his first steps into the professional game on 6 – 9 May at the BMW Italian Open, which will be held over the same course. Until then, however, he remains the leading amateur in the world.
Over in the USA, Texas A&M’s Jordan Russell claimed his first collegiate victory at the Aggie Invitational, held at A&M’s home course, the Traditions Club. Rounds of 70, 69 and a final round of five-under-par 67 gave the sophomore a 10-under-par total of 206, enough to squeeze home by one shot.
“It was fun to play at home in front of everybody,” said Russell, who moves up 162 places to WAGRank 209 this week. “I was focussed on trying to avoid mistakes and helping the team as much as I could, and I ended up playing pretty well. It was fun. All my friends that I went to high school with were out here. My whole family was out here. That was fun, and it’s fun to play well.”
Across in California, the University of Oregon’s Eugene Wong took victory at the Western Intercollegiate after a final round of 67 left him three strokes clear of the field on an eight-under-par three-round total of 202. For Wong, a sophomore, it was the second victory of the season and one which lifts him 9 places up the Ranking to 16th.
Finally, the rising star of Welsh golf, Rhys Pugh, has followed in the footsteps of Lee Westwood and Justin Rose by winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath Golf Club in England’s West Midlands. The 16-year-old, is up 55 place to 466th this week, fired phenomenal final rounds of 66 and 67 to enter a play-off with the Kendleshire’s Chris Lloyd, which he won on the second extra hole.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” said Pugh, the youngest ever Wales senior international and the 2009 Golf Union of Wales player of the year. “Good putting was the key, without doubt, after a couple of 70s in the opening two rounds. I have been working on my short game and it seems to be paying off.”