New World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One, Matteo Manassero, narrowly missed out on winning the first ranking event of 2010 as he lost out to France’s Romain Wattel at the Junior Orange Bowl in Florida. The Italian, who led the field after round three, could only manage a one-over-par 71 on the final day to allow both Wattel and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina to leapfrog him, after they had both posted fourth-round 67s.
With the reigning Amateur Champion out of the running, Wattel and Grillo entered a play-off to decide the tournament. Each parred the 18th twice before a 16-foot birdie putt at the third extra hole secures the title for the in-form Wattel, who recently claimed the Argentinean Mens Amateur Championship.
“It [the play-off] was very tense at the beginning,” said the current holder of both the French Boys and Mens amateur championships, “but at the end I holed a very great putt that gave me the cup!”
“Naturally it is a little disappointing,” Manassero said after finishing one stroke away from the leaders, “and I did not play badly, but these guys played really great today, particularly on the back nine. I struggled a little with my game all week but full credit has to go to Romain.”
Wattel improves his WAGR position by 21 places to reach 24th, while Grillo is also up 21 to WAGRank 117. Matteo Manassero completes his second week at the top of the Ranking.