Astara Golf Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Feb 14, 2022

Astara Golf Championship

Matthews earns first Korn Ferry Tour win

Sleeplessness doesn’t bother Brandon Matthews after a day like Feb. 13.

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After securing his first Korn Ferry Tour victory in the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard, the 2013 William Hyndman, III Player of the Year fulfilled a slew of interview requests and obligations. He then returned to his hotel, packed his suitcase and traveled to the airport for a flight that departed after 11 p.m.

“Normally, I would celebrate a win like that, but this upcoming week [is an event at] one of my favorite golf courses. I wanted to get back and get some preparation in,” Matthews, 27, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., said. “I really didn’t have too much time to absorb much. It was returning a lot of phone calls and texts, trying to get through as many as I could before I got on my flight. I still have more than 500 to reply to.”

The next Korn Ferry Tour event, the LECOM Suncoast Classic at Lakewood National Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., starts on Feb. 17. Matthews’ first Korn Ferry Tour win occurred in his 50th start. He seized said trophy with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish, adding energy to the emotion.

After a monstrous drive on No. 16 (par 4, 406 yards), Matthews’ pitch stopped a foot from the flagstick. He knocked a wedge to 15 feet for birdie on the next hole (par 4, 440 yards). Then came a decisive eagle, one that secured a one-stroke victory. Matthews, favored by elevation at Country Club de Bogota’s Lagos course in Bogota, Columbia, hit a 9-iron 176 yards to five feet.

“For me, that was a shot we hit all week. I just hit it absolutely perfect in there. I came up with a good pressure-situation shot,” Matthews said. “I dug down deep and was fortunate to make that putt.”

Matthews carded rounds of 67, 65, 66 and 66 for a 19-under-par 264. He edged Ben Griffin and Ryan McCormick by a stroke. Matthews began the final round in a tie for third place. Bogeys on Nos. 7 (par 3, 180 yards), 9 (par 4, 447 yards) and 15 (par 3, 207 yards) jeopardized his leaderboard position.

Not his mindset.

“I was really patient all week. I’ve been patient all year,” Matthews said. “Being patient and realizing we don’t have to step on the gas at every moment of every event. Realizing that if I keep playing good golf, smart golf, patient golf, then things are going to happen eventually. Whether it happened yesterday, happens this week or happens two months down the road, I know it’s all going to come together a few times a year.

“[The win] is a culmination of the hard work, the mental preparation I’ve done over the last few years to get to the point where I’m at today. I can’t thank everyone who’s supported me enough.”

Matthews secured full status on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour by becoming the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year. His Astara Golf Championship title came on the heels of co-runner-up honors in The Panama Championship a week ago at Panama Golf Club in Panama City, Panama.

Matthews moved to No. 1 in the regular season points standings. He sits 245-plus points ahead of the other three winners this season. Prospects of a PGA TOUR card at season’s end appear bright.

“To play this well this early … it’s really crazy to see it all come true,” Matthews said.

Matthews, who grew up at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Pa., holds two GAP Open Championship (2013, 2015) and Joseph H. Patterson Cup (2012-13) titles. He is also a two-time Silver Cross Award winner (2012-13). Matthews turned professional after graduating from Temple University in 2016.

Matthews plans on preparing for the aforementioned LECOM Suncoast Classic with a practice session in Sarasota, Fla. today. One thing is sure to happen afterward.

“I think I will sleep very well tonight,” Matthews said.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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