- Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2012

MARBELLA, SPAIN (AP) - Italian teenager Matteo Manassero boosted his hopes of qualifying for the Masters with a 64 that equaled the course record on opening day of the Andalucian Open.

Manassero birdied his closing two holes for a total of nine birdies and one bogey Thursday on the undulating Aloha course near Marbella, Spain.

The 18-year-old had his second-lowest round after recording an 8-under 62 at the 2010 Hong Kong Open.

Manassero said he “made about 90 percent” of his birdie chances, which was key.

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