Sports

Brandon Matthews takes first step toward PGA Tour

Brandon Matthews earned full status on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica.

Since he graduated in May, former Temple golfer Brandon Matthews’ sole focus has been on his golf game in hopes of playing on the PGA Tour some day.

Earlier this month, he took a step toward achieving that goal.

Matthews wrapped up PGA Tour Latinoamérica qualifying school on Jan. 20 and his score was good enough to earn full status on the PGA Tour’s Latinoamérica circuit for 2017.

“Putting in time is the biggest thing in any sport,” Matthews said. “If you practice enough, you get luckier.”

Matthews needed to finish in the Top 30 at the PTLA Qualifying Tournament to earn membership on the PGA Latinoamérica circuit. He shot a five-under-par 67 on the last day of the event to cement his status on the tour.

The top five players on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica circuit money list by the end of the fall schedule are automatically placed into the Web.com tour. Golfers who finish six through 15th on the circuit’s money list are exempt to the final stage of Web.com qualifying school. The Web.com tour is a direct springboard into the PGA Tour and is comparable to the top minor leagues of baseball.

Matthews’ 2017 schedule in Latin America will mirror a college schedule. There are several events on the tour in the spring, the first of which is in late February. Then, players on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica circuit get the summer off before they return to the golf course in the fall.

Matthews has been training in Jupiter, Florida since November, a big change from his previous winters at Temple. He said he’s happy the climate permits practice rounds at this time of year.

“It’s great,” Matthews said. “You’re not locked up inside or hitting off of a mat or anything.”

Matthews won eight tournaments in his first three years as an Owl which tied 1987 alumnus Geoffrey Sisk’s program record. However, due to some injuries and other qualifying school obligations, Matthews’ senior year ended without him capturing his ninth win.

Despite an up-and-down senior season, Temple coach Brian Quinn said when it was over that Matthews was “the best player in Temple history.” Quinn said that while he and Matthews have not talked much since Matthews’ graduation, he believes Matthews is a good example for collegiate golfers throughout the Northeast.

“Brandon has definitely shown kids from our area that if you have the right work ethic you have a chance at becoming an All-American,” Quinn said. “He certainly opened that door to all players from Maryland to Maine.”

Greg Frank can be reached at greg.frank@temple.edu.

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