Manassero in visa race for China
Young Italian Matteo Manassero faces a race against time to get a visa for next week's big-money WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
The 17-year-old, who last Sunday became the youngest winner on the European Tour when he claimed the Castello Masters in Spain, is even skipping this week's Andalucia Masters and instead dashed to Rome to arrange a visa from the China Embassy.
"To get his visa first Matteo needs a letter of invitation from the China Sports Ministry and getting that is not going to be easy," said Manassero's IMG manager Gorka Guillen.
"You would have thought that because the winner of the Castello Masters was always going to qualify to play in Shanghai that some sort of arrangement would have been made in advance for a letter. But that is clearly not the case," Guillen added.
"So Matteo's flown back to Italy to try and sort things out, but we cannot say he will be going to Shanghai until he gets the visa."
Manassero was just 17 years and 188 days old when he won by four strokes at Castellon to take him to 88 in the world rankings, and the youngster will be itching to get to China alongside Tiger Woods and defending champion Phil Mickelson.
Another golfer facing Manassero's predicament is Australian Richard Green, who captured the Portugal Masters on Oct. 17 but then had to arrange for his caddie to travel from Spain to London to organise a visa to allow a trip to China.
Green is, however, competing in Spain but will almost certainly need a replacement caddie for at least the opening round at Valderrama.