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8th March 2024

Magical Matteo shoots 61 to lead Jonsson Workwear Open

JOHANNESBURG – In the City of Gold, Matteo Manassero struck gold on the fairways of Glendower Golf Club and stunned the Jonsson Workwear Open field with a magnificent 11-under-par 61 to earn himself a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend of this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event.

Manassero responded to a perfect day primed for something special as he went out in 28 on the back nine – including two eagles – and then came home in 33 with not a single bogey on his card for the lowest round of his professional career, earning him the lead on 15 under par.

“It was fun. It was one of those days when golf gives you a lot more than you deserve,” he said of one of the lowest rounds ever posted on the venerable Glendower layout, although not an official course record because of preferred lies.

“It’s amazing, and to do it on this golf course which is one of the main ones in South Africa is really special,” he said.

His nearest challenger is South Africa’s Oliver Bekker on 14 under following a second consecutive 65, and he’s followed by Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin (64) and the Spanish duo of Angel Hidalgo (64) and Ivan Cantero (67) on 13 under.

But Friday belonged to Manassero who admitted that at one point he started to think about the magical 59.

“Yes, I definitely did. I was trying to give myself a chance. I had two birdie chances – one was really close but it was a tricky putt. You can’t get everything. But I did think about 59 and the fact that I even thought about it means a lot. I’ve never even come close to that number, so it was fantastic. It was a perfect round.”

The confidence this round has brought him as he’s been on his well-publicised journey back onto the DP World Tour cannot be underestimated.

“The fact that I managed to get back on the DP World Tour already shows that I did a lot of good work, but I don’t want to look too much into the past. I get confidence for myself out of what I’ve done to get back onto the DP World Tour, but that’s about it. We look ahead, and then we have days like these – hopefully more than just once in a lifetime. But we also have bad days so we need to stay focused on getting better. Whatever Tour you’re playing, it’s never easy. The fact that I’m back here makes me proud. But I want to look ahead now and get better.”

Behind him, Bekker foresees a birdie-packed weekend.

“If you look at the scores so far, 15-under-par through two rounds is leading so there are plenty of birdies out there. You need to keep pushing. You can’t play too safe,” said the South African. Michael Vlismas.

The four-day Jonsson Workwear Open is televised live on SuperSport.

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Jonsson Workwear Open online at