Temple wrapped up its first event of the season Tuesday in South Kent, Connecticut at the Hartford Hawk Invitational without Brandon Matthews.
The senior was forced to withdraw after he pulled a muscle in his back during Monday’s second round.
Matthews, who shot an opening-round 74, said he isn’t concerned about the injury and is hopeful he’ll participate in the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge Sept. 26-27.
“I’m very confident I can get back,” Matthews said. “It’s just a minor hiccup. It hurts and it’s annoying but I’m looking at it in the long run and it’s not really that big of a deal.”
“For the time being it’s just an annoyance,” Matthews added. “The pain and as fast as it happened did not feel like much. But to swing a golf club with it, it’s basically impossible.”
Following Matthews’ withdraw, the Owls—who finished in last place of the 20-team field—were left with two freshmen and two sophomores to finish their opening event.
Freshman Troy Wren carded a 14-over-par 230 and freshman Gary McCabe shot a 31-over-par 247, which placed him 103rd out of the 108 golfers. Wroten was the lone Top 60 finisher for the Owls. Sophomore John Barone finished tied for 89th, while fellow sophomore Mark Farley finished 100th
Coach Brian Quinn said Matthews’ injury put the team in a tough spot to open the season.
“Right now I have the youngest team probably in all of college golf,” Quinn said. “We’re super, super young. We have some kids that have a lot of potential, but they were extremely nervous this week and I think it showed.”
Quinn also said he understands the impact of possibly losing Matthews, who is tied for the school record with eight career wins.
“What I told my kids right when they were done today was, ‘Let’s just throw this out and then we’ll start our fall season at Dartmouth,’” Quinn said. “A lot of those kids are in awe playing with [Matthews]. You’re talking about a guy that’s going to be a future star in golf, and for these kids it’s like an honor to play with him in a practice round.”
Greg Frank can be reached at Greg.Frank@Temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.