Manassero looks to repeat win against Oosthuizen and Kaymer in Malaysia

Matteo Manassero
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Matteo Manassero said his victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open last year was very important, because it proved his first win wasn't just a fluke.
By
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | 11:28 a.m.

Matteo Manassero hopes history will repeat itself when the Maybank Malaysian Open gets under way on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Italian returns to the course that saw him secure his second European Tour win last year, hoping to build on that success.

MALAYSIAN OPEN

The Maybank Malaysian Open kicks off a three-week Asian Swing in which the European Tour also will stop in China and South Korea.

"Winning here last year was very important for me," Manassero said. "It was my second victory, and after your first one you think that you need another one to prove to yourself and everyone that you can do it again and again.

"Also to do it here in Asia, in a totally different continent and climate, a completely different golf course and conditions, it was very important for me as a player and proved a lot to me."

This week's event is part of both the European Tour and Asian Tour, and pits Manassero against some of the best golfers in the world.

Having played nine practice holes at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Tuesday morning, Manassero is confident he can emulate last year's performance, which saw him beat Gregory Bourdy and Rory McIlroy to win the title.

"I have a good confidence level at the moment and I think I am playing the best I have done for a while, probably the last eight months or so," he said. "I finished second in Spain and then sixth in Morocco, and even though I missed the cut in Sicily a couple of weeks ago I didn't actually play that badly. I just couldn't score.

"But I am playing well and I am happy with the game -- hopefully I can get into contention this week and have a chance to win it again."

If he is to defend his title, he will have to overcome Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, last year's Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel and the 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.

Oosthuizen is keen to leave his Masters heartache behind him and maintain his excellent recent form. Despite achieving a historic albatross at the second hole at Augusta National, the South African lost out to Bubba Watson in a playoff. But he hopes to forget all about it with a win, andf though he was disappointed by the defeat, it has given him fresh impetus.

"It just makes me want that jacket even more now. Last week certainly has given me a lot of confidence on that golf course because I had never made the cut there but now I know I can play the course," he said. "I'm just looking to continue my good form really.

"I think the first round will be pretty tough because of the tiredness, but after that and after some good rest hopefully we can play well," he explained. "I am just going to try and play the way that I have done for the last few weeks. I think anyone that is playing well wants to play tournaments and try to get some wins under your belt."