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Matteo aims to gatecrash Rory’s party

Strong finishes in Singapore and Hong Kong pumps up the Italian

Gulf News

Dubai: Italy’s Matteo Manessero aims to gatecrash the $3.75 million (Dh13.77 million) bonus pool with a strong finish at this week’s DP World Tour Championship.

Currently 13th in the Race to Dubai, up from 34th before his win in Singapore last week, and a fourth place finish in Hong Kong on Sunday, the 19-year-old Gen-X star comes into the year-ender on a late flurry of form.

Having amassed over $1.9 million prize money on the European Tour this season with eight top ten finishes, five missed cuts in 26 appearances, he’s just over $300,000 short of the Race to Dubai top ten, thus a cut of the lucrative bonus pool.

In order to bridge that gap, he would need a top-five finish in the tournament while hoping those ahead of him don’t fare so well over the par 72, 7675 yard course. “If I can have another good tournament, and I can finish top 10 in the Race to Dubai that’s the maximum goal I can hope for,” Manessero told Gulf News in an exclusive chat.

The ambassador for Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority added; “I was 34th in the Race to Dubai with three tournaments to go [before Singapore and Hong Kong] and if I can finish in the top ten it would be really amazing but I’m relaxed on it. I’m just gaining not losing anything.

“Finishing strongly in the tournament would give me the position I need to finish top ten in the Race to Dubai. I approached the last two tournaments relaxed and I want to be the same here.

He added: “I just want to keep this roll of good tournaments going and keep my game in the same shape — I am playing well and there’s no reason why I can’t continue that. The conditions are perfect, it’s everything that suits golf. So, I really want to keep it going over the coming days and keep this moment alive.

“Of course, Rory has already won [the money list] but I think everyone still wants to gain spots and finish as high as possible in order to gain spots in tournaments next year. There’s always something to gain from finishing high.”

The World No 43, who’s recently changed his swing to further his length, added: “I’ve also arrived in the Top 50 of the world rankings and that’s opened doors. I can play in a few Majors and World Golf Championship events next season and that’s all you want.

“I’ve been in the Top 50 before but I had probably arrived a bit early. I didn’t really have the power in my game to really compete. I’m happy to be back in the Top 50 just to test myself and see if I’ve done the right work to stay there now.”