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Manassero Nails Down Third European Tour Title; McIlroy Top Money Earner on Both Tours
Due to rain delays that threw off the schedule of the Singapore Open's first three days, Matteo Manassero had to endure 33 holes in regulation Sunday and three more in a sudden-death playoff. But the 19-year-old Italian persevered, winning the $6 million European Tour event on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.
Manassero posted rounds of 7-under 64 and a 69 to finish at 13-under 271, the same score as 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who shot a 65 and 67 to send the tournament to a sudden-death playoff.
The duo played the par-5 18th three times. Manassero and Oosthuizen had birdied the hole during their previous two regulation rounds Sunday, and they did so again on the first extra hole. The second time down, Oosthuizen had a 4-foot birdie try that would have given the South African the outright victory, but he missed.
So they played the 18th for the third time in the playoff. After Oosthuizen missed a long eagle putt, Manassero sank a 12-footer for the winning eagle, securing his third title on the European Tour. The victory was worth $1 million.
"It has been an extremely long day, the adrenaline kept me going and the playoff was just a great honor to play with Louis," Manassero told reporters. "It's the first playoff of my career and it has just been amazing really. Of course to end it with an eagle was great."
Taking third place after missing out of the playoff by three strokes was No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy, who closed with rounds of 69 and 65. Another stroke back was second-round leader Thomas Bjorn, who posted a 3-over 74 in the morning before rallying with a 68 in the afternoon.
McIlroy's high finish assured him the Race to Dubai title with two events still left on the European Tour calendar. That means the 23-year-old Northern Irishman duplicated the record set last year by Luke Donald of winning the money-list titles on both the PGA and European tours.
"I played well all week but just didn't convert the birdie chances I gave myself," he said. "I missed a lot of putts over the last four days. If I had holed a few more it would have been a different story. I am very happy how I played today and how I finished."
McIlroy, a four-time winner in 2012 and the reigning PGA champion, was pleased with his season and matching Donald's mark. "Winning a second major championship already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke Donald in becoming No. 1 in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season," he said.
Sharing fifth at 276 were Adam Scott (69, 70) and Francesco Molinari (72, 68). Phil Mickelson (69, 67) was the highest-finishing American at 5-under 279, good for T-14.
For complete scoring details, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012088/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.