As the summer rolls on, Brandon Matthews continues to see his himself penciled in at the number one position on various leaderboards. The Temple phenom is steadily making a name for himself in the amateur golf spectrum.
After winning the 109th Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship on July 17th and finishing first at a member/guest tournament this past weekend, Matthews again found himself first among the field in the United States Golf Association Qualifier at Overbrook Golf Club and Radnor Valley Country Club on Monday afternoon.
Matthews started the first leg of the tournament at Overbrook Golf Club, teeing off at 7:57 a.m. and got a quick jumpstart on the competition, birdying four of his first eight holes, en route to a first round 3-under par score of 67.
“The front nine is very important to get off to a hot start because then you start ahead of the game,” Matthews said. “I was 3-under through five yesterday and I’m three strokes ahead of par, so that gives me a three strokes advantage on basically most of the field. Where people are losing shots the first five holes, I gained three. So that’s important to get out in front of the game.”
Matthews prepped for the opening round last Tuesday with a practice round, more than a week in advance and was confident taking the first tee, stating that the course fit his style of golf.
“I had a very nice round last Tuesday during my practice round and I figured that the course sets up pretty well for me,” Matthews said. “It’s one of those courses I could definitely [score] low on. It was more of a ball-striker golf course and those are the type of golf courses I strive at. You have to hit a lot of greens in the correct places and that’s what I did.”
After his round concluded at Overbrook, Matthews traveled to Radnor Valley Country Club, a course he had never previously played, in time for a 1:12 p.m. tee time, kicking off on hole 10.
Matthews again managed to start off hot and birdied three of his first five holes, further padding his 2-stroke lead and wound up carding a second round score of 69, good for 1-under par.
Matthews staved off Sean Fahey of Villanova, Pa. by three strokes after Fahey made a strong push with a second round score of 65.
“[Radnor Valley was] a lot different then Overbrook, but it was a very challenging layout, a couple corky holes,” Matthews said. “It was a challenge. Both courses were challenging and I was really happy to get out of there with two scores in the sixties.”
With the win, Matthews solidifies himself a position in the United States Amateur Championship, which will get underway at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. from August 12 to 18.
Until then, Matthews will be taking part in another member-guest tournament this week, before competing in the 100th Pennsylvania State Amateur Championship from July 29-31 at Saucon Valley Country Club.
Matthews’ tee time for the State Amateur Championship is slated for 12:40 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
Chase Senior can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Chase_Senior.