Brandon Matthews shot a three-under 137 to win the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 111th Open Championship by two strokes on Wednesday.
The senior, playing out of Blue Bell Country Club, won the event for the second time in three years and extended the Owls’ streak of first-place finishes at the Open Championship to five.
“I just stayed in it, and played golf,” Matthews said. “You can’t really think about, you can’t really dwell on a one-shot deficit. You can’t think about what other people are at. You just have to go out there and give it the best you can possibly give it.”
Matthews, who was playing his first round ever on the Wissahickon Course at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, opened the tournament on Wednesday morning with a four-under 66, including three birdies on his final six holes.
Heading into the final round on Wednesday afternoon, Matthews trailed Joshua Rackley, assistant pro at Gulph Mills Golf Club, by one shot.
Matthews, who began play on the 11th hole, tied for the lead after Rackley opened the second round with a bogey on the 11th hole.
Rackley double-bogied the 13th hole and bogied the 16th hole, and Matthews took advantage once again. Recovering from a bogey on the 13th hole, Matthews birdied the 16th hole to take a three-stroke lead.
On the back nine, the senior golfer carded six-straight pars to secure the victory.
“The wind played extremely tough in the afternoon,” Matthews said. “One kid shot a 67, and it was a way better round than the 65 in the morning. It was blowing 20-25 miles per hour. […] The greens firmed up, they quickened up, and it was just a tough time to golf out there in the afternoon.”
Up next, Matthews will be participating in the AHN State Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Scranton on July 27 through July 29 and the Western Amateur Championship in Chicago from Aug. 3 through Aug. 8.
Matt Cockayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mattcockayne55.