Jul 18, 2013

Matthews defeats Stewart in playoff for 109th Open Championship


PAOLI, Pa. – Brandon Matthews’ summer to remember tour stopped at Waynesborough Country Club and the 109th Open Championship. It rolled out of town with a pair of crystal trophies and an exclusive position amongst Golf Association of Philadelphia icons.

  Matthews, an 18-year-old amateur from Glenmaura National Golf Club, defeated professional Billy Stewart of Golf Galaxy (Devon, Pa.), in a four-hole aggregate score playoff, 15-17. Matthews, a rising Temple University sophomore, and Stewart finished the 36 holes of regulation at 2-under-par 140 on the year’s hottest day.

  Matthews joined R. Jay Sigel, William Hyndman, III and two-time reigning tournament champion Andrew Mason as the only players to win an Open the year after capturing the Patterson Cup. He also became a record fourth straight amateur to win the Open. (His two trophies were for the overall champion and low amateur.)

  “It means a ton, especially with Andrew winning the last two years. [We are] keeping it in the Temple [University] family,” said Matthews of Dupont, Pa. “It means a lot to win this tournament. There are professionals and amateurs in it. It’s nice to know I can compete on this level. It’s really, really a fun thing to go out here, play well and know I can do it.”

  Matthews has now won Golf Association of Philadelphia titles in each of the last three seasons. Last year he won the aforementioned Patterson Cup at Philadelphia Country Club. In 2011, Matthews secured the Junior Boys’ Championship.

  Stewart received the $7,000 low professional prize. 

  The field consisted of 46 amateurs and 32 professionals.

  Mason, an amateur when he won his two titles, did not compete this year. He turned professional in April and relocated to Florida.

  Matthews drew national attention a month ago at the U.S. Open. He chipped in on the final hole of the Sectional Qualifier in Purchase, N.Y. to, at the time, secure an apparent spot at Merion Golf Club. He wound up an alternate. That alternate status secured him time on the U.S. Open practice range and his improbable chip-in regular replays on Golf Channel.

  Matthews’ dramatics continued Wednesday.

  Knowing he needed a birdie on his final hole of regulation, (No. 9, par 4, 446 yards), to tie Stewart, Matthews knocked a 58-degree wedge from 124 yards to 10 feet. He drained the tying birdie putt and added a fist pump. A clutch effort considering Matthews had lingering memories of back-to-back missed 5-foot birdie tries on Nos. 7 (par 5, 547 yards) and 8 (par 4, 373 yards).

  In the playoff, holes 6-9, Matthews gained the advantage from the start. A shaky putter suddenly turned into Mr. Reliable. Matthews one-putted each of the four-playoff greens, including three up-and-down par saves. 

  Matthews opened on No. 6 (par 3, 236 yards) with such after missing the green left. Stewart’s 4-iron came up short right but his six-foot par try stayed outside the hole. Matthews led 3-4.

  The pair registered pars on No. 7 before Matthews, in essence, secured his second Major title in two years on the next hole. He lofted a pitching wedge from 134 yards to 15 feet. Stewart missed a six-footer for birdie. Matthews played his putt three cups outside left and watched it drop to the bottom of the jar.

  Matthews, 11-13.

  Both players parred the final hole. Matthews took a conservative approach off the tee, and once his second shot cleared the trees and landed 10 yards from the green, the title was all but his.

  “I just told myself to get putts to the hole,” said Matthews of his late-game putting heroics. “I hit so many good putts today that were right on line and came up a bit short. I just told myself to get a couple putts there and you can win this thing.”

  Stewart, the 2002 GAP Amateur Champion, turned professional six years ago and spent time on a pair of Florida mini-tours. He returned to the area full-time last year and said he finally found a home in the Philadelphia Section of the PGA.

  “I had lots of fun today. I love playing golf in Philadelphia,” said Stewart, 29, of Devon, Pa. “I feel like I have my best golf ahead of me. I’m excited to be in the Philadelphia Section and share my knowledge with the younger generation.”

  Pro Stu Ingraham of MGolf Driving Range led after the first round at 3 under. The 1994 Open Champion topped a crowded leaderboard that had 11 players at even-par or better after the first 18 holes.

  Next year’s Open is scheduled for Applebrook Golf Club.

Name, clubTotal 
*(a) Brandon Matthews, Glenmaura National Golf Club70-70–140 
Billy Stewart, Golf Galaxy69-71–140 
(a) Chip Lutz, LedgeRock Golf Club70-71–141 
(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club71-70–141 
Mark Summerville, Philadelphia Country Club73-69–142 
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club72-70–142 
Robert Shuey, Unattached70-73–143 
(a) Michael Brown, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association71-72–143 
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club71-72–143 
Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club75-69–144 
Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club73-71–144 
John Lynch, The Peninsula Golf and Country Club73-71–144 
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club73-71–144 
Stuart Ingraham, MGolf Driving Range68-76–144 
(a) Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club74-70–144 
David Quinn, Links Golf Club70-74–144 
(a) Greg Jarmas, Overbrook Golf Club75-70–145 
John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs75-70–145 
(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club72-73–145 
(a) Conrad Von Borsig, White Manor Country Club72-74–146 
John Cooper, Jr., Green Valley Country Club75-71–146 
Barry Dear, Links Golf Club76-70–146 
Michael Little, Rolling Green Golf Club77-70–147 
Jeffrey Bonicky, Sea Oaks Golf Club73-74–147 
(a) Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club74-73–147 
(a) Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club72-75–147 
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club72-75–147 
(a) Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club73-75–148 
Terry Hatch, Hidden Valley Golf Club75-73–148 
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club72-76–148 
(a) Benjamin Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club72-76–148 
(a) Blayze DiPasquale, Makefield Highlands Golf Club73-75–148 
(a) Alexander Hicks, Wildwood Golf & Country Club74-74–148 
(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club71-77–148 
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course77-72–149 
(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club79-70–149 
Anthony Napoletano, Golftec King of Prussia75-74–149 
(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club75-74–149 
Daniel Bolstein, Riverton Country Club75-74–149 
(a) David West, Whitford Country Club74-75–149 
(a) Eric Slawter, St. Davids Golf Club72-77–149 
(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club78-72–150 
(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club76-74–150 
(a) Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket Club75-75–150 
(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club75-75–150 
(a) Zach Arsenault, Little Mill Country Club72-79–151 
Bill Walker, Riverton Country Club79-72–151 
(a) Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club74-77–151 
(a) Zachary Falone, Rolling Green Golf Club71-80–151 
David Taraschi, Merchantville Country Club74-77–151 
(a) Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club80-72–152 
Joseph Kogelman, Waynesborough Country Club75-77–152 
Shawn Hall, Radley Run Country Club76-76–152 
Michael Heidler, Berkshire Country Club77-75–152 
Jakob Gerney, Trump National GC – Phila.77-75–152 
(a) Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club75-77–152 
(a) Jim Rattigan, Schuylkill Country Club78-75–153 
(a) Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club81-73–154 
Eddie Perrino, Mountain Laurel Golf Club84-70–154 
(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club83-71–154 
Tony Perla, Radnor Valley Country Club77-77–154 
(a) Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club73-81–154 
(a) Mike Amole, Huntingdon Valley Country Club79-76–155 
(a) Ryan Fogel, Penn Oaks Golf Club80-76–156 
(a) Zach Allinson, Lehigh Country Club80-76–156 
William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club80-77–157 
(a) Tom DiCinti, Little Mill Country Club78-80–158 
(a) Austin Smith, Huntsville Golf Club81-77–158 
(a) Cory Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club80-78–158 
(a) James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club83-76–159 
(a) Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club85-75–160 
(a) Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club80-82–162 
Ryan Carfara, Golf Galaxy – Oxford Valley82-82–164 
(a) Andrew Lawson, Waynesborough Country Club82-83–165 
(a) Johan van Schalkwyk, Merchantville Country Club82-83–165 
(a) Jake Goldenring, Sea Oaks Golf Club84-83–167 
Nick Wolfe, Waynesborough Country Club86-85–171 
(a) Kavian Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club81-WD–WD 
*-determined in playoff
(a)-denotes amateur; WD-withdrawal

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