Manassero aiming for history

Wentworth - Italy's Matteo Manassero is aiming to make history when the European PGA Championship gets underway at Wentworth on Thursday.

At 20 years and 37 days, Manassero became the youngest winner of the event last year when he took the title after a three-way play-off with Simon Khan and Marc Warren.

This week, in the 60th anniversary of the tournament, he is aiming to become the youngest player to successfully defend a title with the current mark held by Seve Ballesteros who won his second Swiss Open aged 21 years and 152 days in 1978.

And Manassero will be using the memories of his biggest career win as he bids to land the European Tour's flagship event for a second time and join the likes of Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam and Luke Donald as a multiple winner.

"The memories that you have every time you come back to a tournament you get memories," Manassero told reporters at Wentworth.

"The memories are good because of last year and the week becomes even more special. That's the way I feel right now. I feel like I am in a special place but I always felt that.

"This year there is something extra to it. So if I come back here in ten years, I will still remember that. It will always be something really, really special."

Manassero has not won since landing this title and is well down the list for qualification for the European Ryder Cup side for the match against the United States at Gleneagles in September.

But he has not given up hope of making his debut in Paul McGinley's team and a win this week would boost his chances.

He added: "You can't choose when you win. It just happens. But obviously winning in a Ryder Cup year makes a huge difference to that.

"If you're fortunate enough to have it in a Ryder Cup year, you put yourself in a great position. But this tournament is still yet to start, so I definitely have a shot at it, and many more from now to September.

"I think there is a lot of opportunities still that are out there, and if I'll be able to catch one, then I'll be fortunate to have won in a Ryder Cup year.

"I would not be disappointed if I don't make the Ryder Cup. The team is really competitive.

"Some spots are already done, given to those guys, because they played so well till this point. You know, most probably they are going to keep on playing well.

"I would think it's an amazing achievement if I would make The Ryder Cup team, especially because it's such a hard team to make, and because I didn't start so well in the beginning."

Two-time winner Donald is also in the field along with the in-form 50-year old Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and the 2010 champion from England, Simon Khan who missed out in sudden death 12 months ago.

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