PGA Tour Notes: Youth movement coming in language as well as talent

matteo manassero
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Matteo Manassero spent time at the Players Championship competing against David Tom and conversing in foreign languages with Toms' teenaged son.
Associated Press


Published: Sunday, May 22, 2011 | 5:00 p.m.

Matteo Manassero already has won twice on the European Tour, cracked the top 50 in the world and is playing a full schedule in the major championships this year. By now, it's understood that he's only 18 and still doesn't have a driver's license.

A different perspective came Saturday during the rain delay at the Players Championship.

David Toms was on the porch of the clubhouse with his 13-year-old son Carter when Manassero came outside to look at the weather. Before long, he was caught up in conversation with Toms' son about languages. Manassero explained it was mandatory to take English and one other language at his school, so he picked Spanish over German.

Toms watched as the guy he tries to beat on the golf course had an easier time chatting with his son than with him.

PLAYOFF FEVER: First it was Brandt Snedeker at Hilton Head, then Bubba Watson in New Orleans and Lucas Glover at Quail Hollow. Just when it seemed every PGA Tour event went to a sudden-death playoff, the streak continued Sunday at the Players Championship when K.J. Choi won with a par on the 17th hole.

Officially, it's the first time since the end of the 2009 season that four straight PGA Tour events on the schedule went to extra holes. But that took place over a six-week stretch. This is the first time since the PGA Tour began keeping complete records in 1969 that tournaments were decided by a playoff in four successive weeks.

SUNSHINE CEO: The Sunshine Tour in South Africa is getting a new commissioner.

Just one month after Gareth Tindall announced plans for a new World Golf Championship in South Africa as early as next year -- an announcement that caught the PGA Tour by surprise because there is still not a firm date or title sponsor -- the Sunshine Tour announced he will be leaving at the end of June to take a job in the business world.

"Every so often in life, an opportunity comes along that one just cannot refuse," Tindall said.

He will be replaced by Selwyn Nathan, the deputy chairman of the tour.

DIVOTS: Excluding the majors, Ian Poulter has gone 24 consecutive PGA Tour events without finishing in the top 10 against a full field. His most recent was a tie for ninth at The Barclays in 2009. ... The PGA Tour picked up two more title sponsor extensions over the past few days, with Northern Trust (Riviera) renewing its deal through 2016 and FedEx agreeing to be title sponsor of the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., through 2014. ... Six major champions will take part in "Ole Seve," a pro-am of 22 teams on the West Course at Wentworth on May 23. All the proceeds will go toward the Seve Ballesteros Foundation in partnership with Cancer Research UK. Jose Maria Olazabal will serve as the host of the pro-am. ... Juli Inkster and Morgan Pressel will take part in the CVS Charity Classic, the two-day exhibition after the U.S. Open hosted by Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade.

STAT OF THE WEEK: In the five years since the Players Championship moved to May, no one leading after the third round has gone on to win the tournament.

FINAL WORD: "My issues with putting really aren't the length of the putter, it's the length between my ears." -- Paul Goydos, on why he doesn't use a long putter.