• He missed 15 straight cuts from last May to February
• "I wasn't myself in that period," he told bunkered.co.uk
MATTEO MANASSERO | SCOTTISH OPEN
Aged just 20, Matteo Manassero was already a four-time European Tour winner and world No.25 tipped for Ryder Cup stardom following his play-off win at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.
But fast forward three years and the Italian has failed to add to that total number of wins. In fact, he only has two European Tour top fives since, the most recent of which came two years ago in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.
"There were a lot of downs and some pretty deep ones" - Matteo Manassero
A disastrous loss of confidence followed. Last year, Manassero placed 167th in the Race to Dubai, cashing only €91,764 from 22 events, while he missed 15 straight European Tour cuts from the 2015 BMW PGA Championship through to this year’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
And the 23-year-old revealed that he had to battle his inner demons to help lift himself out of that dark period.
“It was a really tough time about a lot of things: with myself and more technical things,” Matteo Manassero told bunkered.co.uk after his first round. “There were a lot of downs and some pretty deep ones but it’s something that a person has to face and being out here, being under pressure and having to perform because people expect you to perform, it just increases the problems even more and that’s what it was.
“There wasn’t one - just a lot of tough moments. When you shoot 80 and you feel like you can’t do much better – it’s just bad. I was trying but every time I had an important shot, I was missing. It was such a bad feeling.
“But I wanted to get out of it. My spirits were never that good and I wasn’t completely myself during that period. It’s impossible to keep your spirits up when it’s something that is so important to you and you care about so much and you can’t do it.
“And there was no trigger for it – it was just me. It was one of those things where people can tell you whatever to help you but in the end, you have to get out of it. It’s inside of you. It’s not a mental coach, it’s not your father, it’s not your mother, it’s just you.”
After securing qualification for the US Open at Oakmont last month – where he made the cut and finished T46 – Matteo Manassero has also recorded two top 15s at the Nordea Masters and BMW International Open – and strongly believes he’s now put that troubling period well and truly behind him.
"I’m doing things right and it’s clicked in my mind" - Matteo Manassero
“The last two months have been good,” he said. “I’m missing maybe one good round out of four to be up there in contention but that takes time. I’m patient, I’m doing things right and it’s clicked in my mind.
“I’m more relaxed and that’s all that really matters for me. Now it’s about getting back in contention and feeling that vibe again.”
Matteo Manassero :: Can he get back to the top?
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