Teenage Wonders: Jordan Speith & Matteo Manessero

by Jeff Skinner

The folks down at the HP Byron Nelson Championship should just give Jordan Spieth a lifetime pass or a new computer or some music downloads or something, anything to show their appreciation to the kid.  For the second year in a row this teenager has given this tournament plenty of buzz.  The high school senior makes the cut for the second year in a row and is only five shots off the lead.  Ryan Palmer and Sergio Garcia share the lead and amateur Speith is only five off the lead.  It’s great to see Sergio playing well but the story here is Jordan Speith.

This youngster isn’t just here to hang out with the big boys.  He’s here to beat the big boys.  When asked what his goal was this week he said very plainly he wanted to win.  “I want to win” he said. “I don’t care what everyone else says. … I’m confident, staying loose and seeing my friends in the crowd. Feeding off the crowd helps me.” Spoken like a teenager without any pressure on him at all.  Keeping Speith close to the lead is the best thing for the Nelson and not to bad for Speith either.  Oh, because he is playing so well he’ll probably miss a bit of his high school graduation as it starts at 4:00pm and he’ll probably still be on the course with the big boys.

Not to think that the PGA Tour is the only tour boasting a teenage challenger, The European Tour has one of their own.  At the BMW PGA Championship Matteo Manassero is tied for the lead with Luke Donald and Alvaro Quiros.  How is that for a leaderboard?  Manassero continues his astonishing career with a chance at his third Euro Tour win at their biggest event.  And he’s not shy about his chances either. “I think it’s a course where you have to be conservative, and attacking, obviously, attacking the right moment,” he said.  “It’s a tough course. It suits me well, though. I like the shape. I like the way you have to hit shots and the way you have to put the ball in position to score well. So it’s a course that suits me. I think it’s difficult, but I think it’s less difficult than some other courses that don’t suit me at all. I like the course – that’s why I maybe find it a bit easier than someone else.”

Oh, to be young again, and have a world class game.



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