|Brandon Matthews currently sits atop the PGA Tour Latinoamerica's rankings.|
Matthews earns first professional title in Argentina
Brandon Matthews, a four-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Major Champion and former Temple University standout, is officially on track for a breakout season after just two professional starts on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Thanks to a hard-fought, even-par 72 on Sunday, Matthews came out victorious in the Molino Canuelas Championship at Canuelas Golf Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He held off late charges by Matias Simaski and Jared Wolfe, who both finished one stroke back, en route to his first professional win.
“It’s pretty cool. Hopefully we can keep it going as a trend, and get a couple more wins here before the first half of the season is over,” Matthews told the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. “I’m really happy how things turned out [this week], obviously, and I’m definitely looking forward to what’s ahead.”
A bogey-free, 4-under 68 put Matthews in second place after Thursday’s opening round. An inconsistent round of 2-under 70 in the second round gave way to Saturday’s breakout performance, where Matthews fired a 7-under 65 to grab the lead heading into the final day. He got off to a rough start on Sunday, including a double bogey on No. 3 followed by a bogey on No. 4, but rallied to finish 1 under on the back nine for the win.
“Staying smart and my putting all week was [key]. I really put in a lot of trust into what I’ve been doing with my putting this week,” said Matthews, who won the GAP Open in 2013 (Waynesborough Country Club) and 2015 (Philadelphia Cricket Club). “I just stayed confident.”
Matthews earned $31,500 in prize money for the victory.
All things considered, it’s been an ideal beginning to Matthews pursuit of one day playing on the PGA Tour. The Top-5 finishers at the end of the PGA Latinoamerica’s season qualify for the Web.com Tour, which is considered to be just one level below golf’s main stage.
“[The experience] has been pretty cool so far. I’m filling up my passport,” he said. “The steak here is really good. I think I might go have one after this.”
However, when prompted about his understanding of the native language, Matthews wasn’t so confident.
“[My Spanish] is horrible,” he admitted. “I guess we can blame that on my high school teacher.”
In just two starts, Matthews now sits atop the tour’s rankings. His professional debut came in the Avianca Colombia Open (Guaymaral Country Club, Feb. 13-19) where he finished tied for ninth.
Matthews’ next appearance will take him to Antigua, Guatemala, where he will compete in this week’s Stella Artois Open .
In addition to his two GAP Open titles, Matthews also won two Patterson Cup titles (2012-13) and the 2013 William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Award.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 150 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.