For the second year in a row, junior Brandon Matthews failed to qualify for the finals of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships.
In order for Matthews, who was participating as an individual, to qualify for the finals, he needed to have the lowest score among golfers in the field not on a top five team.
Matthews totaled the third-lowest individual score after shooting a one-under 209 over the three-day tournament.
“[I’m] pretty disappointed, there is no other way to put it,” Matthews said. “I hit the ball outstanding the past three days but I didn’t get the putts to fall.”
Troy University senior Tolvier Dozier and Ohio State University sophomore Addison Coll tied for the number one individual spot outside of the top 5 qualifying teams with a four-under 206 and Dozier won the playoff with an eagle on the first playoff hole
Matthews, who finished 15th, shot an even-par 70 on Thursday and Saturday and a one-under 69 on Friday. The junior also totaled nine birdies and 37 pars over the three day tournament.
“If you showed me how I hit the ball and showed me the opportunities I gave myself and didn’t tell me what I shot, I would say you are absolutely out of your mind if I didn’t shoot three under,” Matthews said.
The 15th place finish also marks the second time out of 13 tournaments that Matthews did not place among the Top 10.
“Wherever he is playing … if he is on, there is a good chance he is going to win that tournament,” Quinn said. “He can do things with golf clubs that 99.999 percent of people who play golf for a living can’t do.”
Matthews, who was the first-ever Owl to compete as an individual at the NCAA Championships in 2014, was the top individual qualifier at the New Haven Regional at The Course at Yale.
“He did everything well,” Quinn said. “He stroked the ball beautifully on the greens. He just didn’t make any putts. If we was putting marginally well, he would have shot 15 under this week.”
The Dupont, Pennsylvania native came into the tournament after totaling a school-record 71.0 stroke per round average during the 2014-15 season while winning four tournament titles. Matthews also tied the school record of eight career tournament titles after a first place finish at the Princeton Invitational in April.
At last year’s NCAA Championships, Matthews tied for 38th at the Raleigh Regional after shooting a seven-over 220.
“I feel like I improve everyday and that is something that I am very big on, improving on a daily basis and I think I have done that throughout the year,” Matthews said.
Michael Guise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Michael_Guise