Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.
I WAS A TEENAGE 3-TIME EUROPEAN TOUR WINNER
Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: The golf season is winding down, but we've still got plenty to talk about after a wild week. Let's start on the other side of the world where there were two big headlines from Singapore. The first was Matteo Manassero becoming the first teenager to win three European Tour titles. The 19-year-old Italian broke out of a funk and beat a world-class field, which included Louis Oosthuizen, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson.
Unlike a lot of other young phenoms, Manassero does not have a powerful game (he only averages about 271 yards off the tee). Will that keep him from being a big-time player, or do you see Manassero as the next Luke Donald?
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Matteo is certainly at a disadvantage, but there is a rich history of successful short hitters in golf. One could do worse than being the next Luke Donald.
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I love watching the kid play. I think he'll do great things. Hitting it so short will put him at a disadvantage, but Mike Weir and Zach Johnson have won green jackets, so anything is possible.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: I'll bet on Manassero. Three wins at age 19 puts him miles ahead of any American player under age 25.
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Exactly. He might not be a monster like Dustin Johnson, but he clearly hits it far enough to win a bunch of pro tournaments. With such early success, it seems like the sky's the limit.
Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: He'll never be a power player, but when I spoke with him at the U.S. Open, we talked a lot about how he'd gained distance in the off-season by strengthening his core and making a few swing changes. (He looked a lot stronger.) And as we know, he has an amazing short game. It's incredibly fun to watch him around the greens. Fantastic touch. (And FWIW, he's a great kid.)
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I don't think he'll be short forever. Bodies change in one's 20s. Equipment changes, too. He'll get more length. In the meantime, he's such a mature golfer at such a young age. And for his future? The kid should buy shades.
Herre: Hope he doesn't go chasing after a few extra yards-many a career has been disrupted by the search for distance.
Wei: I think he realizes not to do anything crazy. Sergio Garcia was paired together with Manassero several times and he said he hoped "Manny" wouldn't change his game and swing for extra distance. As we know, that can ruin careers and I'm a strong believer in playing your own game instead of the mob mentality.
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I am a believer in the youngster. Remember how for the longest time the rap on Donald was that he couldn't win? Well, Manassero already looks like he knows how to close the deal.
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: The modern game is predicated on being able to crush the ball off the tee. Some courses will set up better for him than others, and he will win now and then, but Augusta and any U.S. Open venues won't be among them.
Shipnuck: Double D, Manassero is my early pick at petite Merion!
Dusek: He's all yours, I'll be pulling for Corey Pavin.
Herre: Good call, Alan. The kid is made for Merion.
Bamberger: Italians do so well there. Well, Eddie M. won a stylish am at Merion, anyway.
Does 19-year-old Matteo Manassero need more distance off the tee to compete in the biggest golf events? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
THE BEST YOUNG PLAYER TO CADDIE FOR (NON-RORY DIVISION)
Reiterman: If you had a chance to caddie for one hot-shot player under 25 not named Rory McIlroy, whose bag would you pick up: Matteo Manassero, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Branden Grace or Kyle Stanley?
Hanger: Fowler. He's always the center of attention and has lots of earning potential.
Herre: Don't know much about Grace, but the South Africans seem like a fun bunch.
Bamberger: Double M. How can you not love Continental golf? (Did I mention I'm in Barcelona?)
Reiterman: Nice! I highly recommend La Vinateria del Call, Sant Domènec del Call 9.
Walker: I think Fowler is going to have a very good PGA Tour career, but I'd go with Manassero. Lot of upside, and you know you'll be cashing some winner's checks.
Wei: I'm not picky, but I'd pass on Stanley. If I had to pick, I'd say Manassero.
Godich: I'm taking Rickie, for his potential as well as the, um, entertainment value. The one guy I'm not taking is Stanley. I don't think I'd be on the bag for long if he hit a rough stretch. Have to have that job security.
What young golf pro would you most like to caddie for? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
RORY MCILROY WINS EURO MONEY LIST WITHOUT EURO WIN
Reiterman: The other story out of Singapore was Rory McIlroy clinching the European money title with a third-place finish. McIlroy also won the PGA Tour money title to become the second player to win both. (Luke Donald did it last year.) The funny thing is, unlike Donald, McIlroy didn't win one title in Europe. Is that bad news for the European Tour?
Shipnuck: No, it's good news -- it proves the European Tour's globalization has been a success. It owns Asia, the Middle East, South Africa and points in between.
Bamberger: These days in our game, any time you can legitimately attach your enterprise to Rory McIlroy's young and curly mane, you're doing yourself favors.
Herre: All indications are that Rory will be playing a heavy U.S. schedule. He'll never abandon the Euro tour, but he'll do much better financially by maintaining a high profile on the PGA Tour.
Walker: We need to stop making a big deal out of winning both money titles. If Tiger had been a member of the European Tour, he would have accomplished this feat seven times.