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Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 19:16 UK

Manassero claims British amateur

Matteo Manassero
Manassero is the first Italian to win the British amateur championship

Italian 16-year-old Matteo Manassero made history when he became the youngest winner of the British amateur title at Formby on Saturday.

Manassero beat England's Sam Hutsby 4&3 in the 36-hole final of the event which was celebrating its 124th edition.

At 16 years and two months, he easily surpassed the previous youngest winner of 18 years and one month.

"I never imagined once that I could win this tournament. I'm shocked. It's unbelievable," said Manassero.

The player from Verona, who finished 19th at last month's Italian Open, added: "I think everyone in Italy knows about it already, and I hope it helps with amateur golf there.

"To be the first Italian to win is something very special."

The pair were all square after 15 holes but a Hutsby bogey and two birdies from the Italian left the Englishman trailing by three at halfway.

Manassero raced to six up after 25 holes before Hutsby fought back with birdies of his own at the 31st and 32nd, but he eventually succumbed on the 33rd.

"I didn't sleep much last night, thinking about what this would mean," Hutsby told the R&A website.

"The three holes at the end of the first round really cost me, and I couldn't get my putter going."

Illustrious names to have won the British amateur title include Sergio Garcia (1998), Jose Maria Olazabal (1984) and Graeme Storm (1999), while Colin Montgomerie lost to Olazabal at Formby.

Dutchman Reinier Saxton beat England's Tommy Fleetwood in last year's final.

Manassero will now accept invitations to both the Open Championship at Turnberry next month as well as the 2010 Masters.

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