Barclays Singapore Open

  • Sentosa GC, Singapore November 8th - November 11th
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Completed

Manassero wins play-off

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  • Last Updated: Sunday November 11 2012, 12:19 GMT

Rory McIlroy clinched the European Tour's 'Race To Dubai' money list title in Singapore on Sunday.

  • Rory McIlroy: King in Europe and the US
  • Matteo Manassero: Singapore Open champion 

South African Louis Oosthuizen had to win the tournament to keep the race alive but he was pipped to the Singapore Open title by Matteo Manassero, who won at the third extra hole of a play-off.

McIlroy finished third and can no longer be caught in the season-long money list rankings.

In winning the Race To Dubai, the Northern Irishman adds the European Tour crown to his PGA Tour one, thus emulating Luke Donald's achievement of last season.

Manassero and Oosthuizen had finished the initial 72 holes on 13 under par with McIlroy three shots back after a closing round of 65, one which concluded with a 30-foot eagle putt on the final green.

McIlroy, 23, becomes the European Tour's youngest money list winner since Sandy Lyle in 1980.

On clinching the money list double, he said: "It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European number one, especially after finishing second two of the last three years.

"It has always been one of my goals ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour number one is just amazing.

"I feel so proud and humbled to join so many fabulous names in Europe who have won the Order of Merit.

"To be able to accomplish this goal with still two events remaining means that I can head to my UBS Hong Kong Open defence and the DP World Championship Dubai without that added pressure and just really enjoy my golf.

"Winning a second major championship (the USPGA in August by eight shots just like his US Open triumph last season) already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke Donald in becoming number one in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season.

"I set myself a number of ambitious goals at the start of the year, and to have ticked so many of the boxes feels great.

"A lot of hard work went into this and I am really proud of what I've achieved in 2012. I would like to give special thanks to the team around me for all the support they have given me throughout the year.

"I've still got two events remaining this year and the goal is still to try and win at least once more before the end of the year. Beyond that I'm looking forward to a good break over the winter!

"I've got a healthy lead in the world rankings, but with so many very good players on both sides of the Atlantic it will not be a time to be resting on my laurels. My goal is to push on in the new year.

"Monty (Colin Montgomerie) won eight Order of Merits in his prime and I have won one, so there is plenty of ground to make up.

"Also Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors and I now have my name on two, so targeting the majors will still be my main focus next season."

Manassero beat Oosthuizen with a 12-foot putt at the third play-off hole.

If Oosthuizen had won he could still have caught McIlroy, but instead Manassero became the first player to win three times on the circuit before the age of 20. Not even Seve Ballesteros managed that.

Manassero, just 17 when he became the Tour's youngest-ever winner in Spain two years ago, had slipped from 29th in the world to 85th.

He said after lifting the trophy: "This year has been a little tough for me and I'm glad this came.

"I'm going through a few swing changes and have picked up length. The driver is the most important thing - I changed it this week and it gave me a few extra yards.

"It's been an extremely long day, but the adrenalin kept me going and the key, I think, was starting really well with a few birdies this morning."

The Verona youngster made four birdies in a row from the third hole in a third round that resumed at 7.30am and, after posting a 64 for a two-stroke lead, he grabbed two more birdies early in the final round.

They dried up after that, however, and Oosthuizen caught him with three in a row around the turn, only to bogey the 12th and 13th.

A chip-in for a two on the 201-yard next increased the pressure again, however, and Manassero bogeyed the 15th after driving into rough.

When Oosthuizen pitched to a foot on the last for a 67 he went ahead again, but Manassero's two-putt birdie gave him a 69 and forced sudden death on 13 under par.

Both birdied the 18th again, then parred it with Oosthuizen lipping out from under five feet and after returning to the tee again - they actually played the 542-yard hole five times during the day - it was Manassero who came up with the decisive stroke to claim the first prize of over £618,000.

He has earned over £2.5million in his career already - and will not be 20 until next April.

McIlroy, watched during the week by girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, stormed through to third place with a closing six-under-par 65.

"I left myself a little bit too much to do to win, but it was a great way to finish off the round and the tournament," said the Northern Irish star, who still has his defence of the Hong Kong Open and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to come this next fortnight.

The money list race would still have been alive if either Peter Hanson or Oosthuizen were playing in Hong Kong or at South African Open in the coming week, but they have not entered.


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