|Brandon Matthews is a two-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Champion. |
Former POY Matthews set for eight starts on Web.com Tour
A significant back injury hazed Brandon Matthew’s Web.com Tour hopes. Two months of physical therapy and chiropractic care, followed by a Top 45 showing in the final qualifying event, lifted the fog.
| 2013 William Hyndman, III POY story |
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Matthews, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 2013 William Hyndman, III Player of the Year, earned guaranteed entry into the first eight events on the 2018 Web.com Tour schedule. He did so by tying for 42nd in the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School, held Dec. 7-10 at Whirlwind Golf Club (Devil’s Claw/The Cattail). Matthews carded rounds of 70, 68, 65 and 71.
“I was lucky to even be playing at that time. I honestly wasn’t expecting to be able to play golf at least until  with how bad my back injury was,” Matthews, 23, of Jupiter, Fla., said. “My spirits were very high just because of how bad it could have been and how good it ended up being. I was playing mostly pain-free. Obviously, that last round was very nerve-wracking, but it was all good. I was really excited about the whole experience.”
Matthews, a two-time GAP Open Champion (2013, 2015), injured his back in September 2017.
“I just went to pick something up and ended up with a bad shooting pain down my right leg,” he said. “I found out that I had two bulging discs and a herniated disc with disc material actually leaving the disc onto a nerve. I couldn’t swing a golf club without being in excruciating pain.”
Matthews, who placed 10th in the PGA Tour Latinoamérica Order of Merit, gauges his back at “80 percent” entering the 2018 golf campaign.
“I was able to play golf basically at 70 percent. Now being at 80, I can start to do the things I’m used to doing without having to take an Advil or an Aleve in the morning to suppress the pain,” he said. “I’m happy with where I’m at. It’s been a tough two months, but I came back strong. I’m excited to get the Web.com season started.”
Matthews, a two-time Joseph H. Patterson Cup Champion (2012-13), is set to compete in the tour’s first event, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay (Emerald Reef Course) Jan. 13-16. He won’t be a full-fledged rookie for the affair, however. Matthews started in a trio of Web.com Tour events a year ago: Rex Hospital Open, LECOM Health Challenge and Pinnacle Bank Championship.
“I’m going to draw on that experience and treat it like any other tournament. I truly believe I belong out there, and even beyond on the PGA TOUR,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to get a Top 25 on the [Web.com Tour] money list this year and get out there with the big boys and see how I can do.”
Matthews, a Dupont, Pa. native, graduated from Temple University in 2016. He turned professional later that year and spent 2017 on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, winning the organization’s Molino Cañuelas Championship.
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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 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.