Matteo Manassero pips Rory McIlroy to win Malaysia Open

Matteo Manassero and the trophy
Manassero played some inspired shots to capture his second European title

Rory McIlroy suffered more final-round anguish as teenager Matteo Manassero clinched the Malaysian Open by one shot from Frenchman Gregory Bourdy.

McIlroy, who squandered a four-shot lead at the Masters with a final-round 80, led by three shots at one stage during the rain-affected third round.

But he shot a 72 in the third round and a bogey at the 18th in the final round led to a 69, two strokes adrift.

Manassero, 17, holed a nine-iron for an eagle in his 68 and finished 16 under.

It was the perfect birthday present for Manassero, who turns 18 on Tuesday, as he followed up his maiden European Tour win at the Castello Masters last year by picking up the £255,075 winner's cheque in Malaysia.

"It feels amazing - it's a great achievement," said the former British Amateur champion. "As I always say I could never have expected it all to have one win before I was 18 and now I've got two.

"It was tough, the course is really tight and all the players were doing good and playing well. It's just not easy to concentrate, especially to stay calm."

Manassero also paid tribute to Seve Ballesteros, who he described as his golfing hero. "He is and will always be," he added. "I thought Seve was the kind of player I wanted to be.

"The crowd was cheering for him and he was different to everyone else. He is a great person and a symbol of what a person should be. He sent me a letter after I won in Spain. That was nice."

Frenchman Bourdy finished a shot adrift at 15 under, while world number one Martin Kaymer was joint ninth on eight under, with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel a shot further back.

Massanero had been 10 under when the weather ended Saturday's play, stranded on the ninth hole alongside playing partner McIlroy.

However, the prospect of 27 holes on a mammoth final day did not prove daunting for the Verona-based teenager, despite McIlroy extending his two-shot overnight lead with a birdie at the 10th on Sunday morning.

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy was again left frustrated in the final round of a tournament

The Northern Irishman saw his lead whittled away following a double bogey on the 15th as Manassero moved ahead with two birdies on the back nine, carding a five-under 67 before they went straight into the final round.

Bourdy made a sensational start as the players teed off for the final time, holing four successive birdies from the third to charge to the top of the leaderboard.

But his hopes of victory were dashed with a bogey at the eighth and a double bogey on the 11th.

Meanwhile, Manassero turned on the style on the back nine with a superb three at the par-five 10th, holing with his full approach from the centre of the fairway, and following that up with two birdies to take the lead.

An eight-foot birdie putt at the 11th put him one shot in front, but he missed a six-footer for bogey at the next.

McIlroy was still in contention after three birdies in four holes from the eighth, but the 21-year-old suffered a serious setback when he three-putted for a double bogey at the 12th.

However, he displayed impressive resolve and made three further birdies to keep alive hopes of forcing a play-off with Manassero, only for a bogey at the 18th to end his victory prospects.

"Obviously at this moment I'm pretty disappointed but it was a good week," said, who had a 25-hour flight to the tournament following the Masters.

"I started out really well and to shoot the scores I did considering the travelling is a pretty good effort. I'm proud of myself at how I picked myself up from last week and the way I came back on the back nine."

Schwartzel returned a final-round 70 to move up to 11th at seven under, one shot behind Kaymer, who closed with a 72 but Open champion Louis Oosthuizen finished 73rd at seven over.

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