NEPA Sports Nation

ALUMNI REPORT: Matthews tees off early at U.S. Open in first major

CHANDLER, AZ – DECEMBER 07: Brandon Matthews plays a tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Tour Qualifying Tournament at Whirlwind Golf Club on the Devil’s Claw course on December 7, 2017 in Chandler, Arizona. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Brandon Matthews returns to the site of his biggest amateur golf achievement to begin play in the biggest event of rising professional career Thursday morning.

The former Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion from Pittston Area hits The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. early Thursday, teeing off on 10 at 7:07 a.m. in the third starting time for the U.S. Open.

Matthews, who earned the spot in his first major through qualifying earlier this month, will play with Wyndham Clark and Wil Besseling.

In 2013, while still a Temple University student, Matthews reached the U.S. Amateur at Brookline, going one round further than Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau.

Matthews has momentum as he enters the event that represents just one milestone he has arrived at in the past 10 days.

With three straight rounds of 67 to wrap up the BMW Charity Pro-Am, Matthews tied for 15th in the latest Korn Ferry Tour event, moving up to fifth on the season points list and essentially clinching his first spot as a regular on the PGA Tour.

Matthews needs a top 25 finish on the Korn Ferry to earn that PGA Tour spot and his current point total is projected to safely keep him in the top 25.

The 27-year-old from Dupont, now playing out of Florida, opened this season by finishing in the top 33 in six out of seven Korn Ferry events, including a tie for second at the Panama Championship, followed by a win at the Astara Championship.

After a slump of five straight missed cuts, Matthews has made three in a row, closing with rounds in the 60s each time.

Tucked between the last two Korn Ferry events was a 36-hole Monday qualifier for the U.S. Open in which he survived a playoff to make it back to Brookline.

Matthews heads out on a 7,254-yard, par-70 course early. He is playing alongside Clark, a PGA Tour player who was also in that 2013 U.S. Amateur field, and Besseling, a 36-year-old Dutch pro.


See the Nation Nostaglia story from when Matthews talked last summer about his U.S. Amateur experience.

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