Sports

Matthews talks life on, off golf course

Standout sophomore didn’t start taking golf lessons until 12-years-old.

Sophomore Brandon Matthews sometimes makes the game look easy.

Carrying the confidence on his shoulders that he had built up within the past year, Matthews continued his success into the summer.

Matthews was first named an alternate for the United States Open at nearby Merion Golf Club, then took first place in the 109th Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship in July.

Matthews would finish atop the leaderboard in the United States Golf Association Qualifier less than a week later.

To wrap up his play in July, Matthews tied for second place at the Pennsylvania State Amateur Championship, and then carried that momentum into August and took home the hardware for the second straight year at the 111th Patterson Cup after shooting a 7-under par on the final day of competition.

With the victory, Matthews became the first player in the Golf Association of Philadelphia history to seize both the Philadelphia Open and Patterson Cup in the same season.

Competing against players from across the world in the United States Amateur Championship, Matthews advanced to the quarterfinals, just one round away from receiving an automatic spot at the historic Masters in Augusta, Ga., in April of 2014.

Matthews has proven himself as one of the best college golf players in the country, but what does he do when he’s not swinging the golf club?

“There’s not much down time for me,” Matthews said. “That’s the tough part. I like hanging out with all my friends and my girlfriend, just spending some relaxing time. I’m in the middle of the third season of “Breaking Bad,” which is occupying a decent amount of my time.”

“Once in a while I like to play basketball, but besides that I don’t get too much time to do anything else,” he added. “It’s golf seven days a week, almost.”

Matthews’ drive appears effortless, but when asked about the most interesting thing that people don’t know about him, Matthews admitted that his swing didn’t just come off the tee.

“Before I quit baseball, I had 40 homeruns in four years,” Matthews said. “I quit baseball when I was 13 years old.”

Matthews’ most prized sports memory on the course came this summer when he holed a 15-yard flop-shot for par, forcing a playoff at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in Purchase, N.Y.

Matthews favorite sports memory aside from his own, however, involves Philadelphia’s most recent world champion.

“I watched the Phillies win the 2008 World Series,” Matthews said. “I was there for [game five]. The Phillies, without a doubt, are my favorite team. I love the Phillies.”

“I was a bigger sports fan than what I am now,” Matthews added. “I still try and keep up on the Phillies as much as I can. I’m not really that much into football. I always try to keep up on baseball because that was my big sport.”

Matthews said his favorite movie is “Space Jam” and his favorite book is “Holes.” When it comes to food, Matthews insisted that “you can’t beat a good filet mignon steak.”

When questioned about the hardest shot on the course, Matthews’ answer may come as a surprise to many.

“The most difficult shot is a three-foot putt,” Matthews said. “Believe me, when you have pressure on and you’re standing over a three footer, it’s a lot tougher than you think. You’re expected to make it.”

Matthews admits that he is a close follower of Tiger Woods, but doesn’t look to other golfers to assist him with his mechanics.

“I don’t really try to model my swing or game off anybody, really,” Matthews said. “Someone that I probably would do that with is Davis Love III, but he’s almost 50 years old now.”

“I did not take a golf lesson until I was 12. I’m constantly trying to improve,” Matthews said. “Now I take lessons from [Temple coach Brian Quinn]. I love his personality and the way he teaches, and you got to have trust in someone to have them change and critique your golf swing, and I obviously have a ton of trust in my coach.”

When competing, Matthews swings TaylorMade brand clubs and hits TaylorMade golf balls. Matthews also didn’t hesitate when saying the driver is his No. 1 club of choice.

Matthews and the Temple golf team will start their season on Sept. 14 at The McLaughlin in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Chase Senior can be reached at chase.senior@temple.edu or on Twitter@Chase_Senior.

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