ORGET IDEAL COURSE CON-
DITIONS or new equipment.
A positive attitude is a must for
His father Bill continually emphasizes its importance. Jay Wright, a role model and Villanova
University’s men’s basketball coach, preaches it
among his players. Matthew’s brother Michael,
a Princeton University senior and the 2015 BMW
Philadelphia Amateur Championship runner-up,
demonstrates it on the golf course.
Attitude surrounds Matthew. He favors the
positive variety, which yielded positive returns
in 2017. Davis is the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 2017 Junior Sportsperson of the Year.
“It feels great to win this award,” Davis, 18, of
Newtown Square, Pa., said. “I credit my dad and
my brother for helping me with golf and telling
me how to carry myself on the course. Attitude
is a big word that my dad uses a lot. I try to keep
a good attitude no matter how I’m playing.”
The record shows that Davis, an Aronimink
Golf Club member, played fairly well in 2017. He
tied for fifth in the Christman Cup presented by
GlobalGolfPost at Stonewall (North). A day af-
ter missing the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying
cut by a mere stroke, Davis competed in his
first BMW Philadelphia Amateur at Philadelphia
Cricket Club — an experience he cherished
among the region’s best.
But the results seem secondary; Davis
speaks proudly about his mental growth, citing
it as factor in his receipt of the Junior Sportsperson of the Year honor.
“[My golf coach Brian Quinn] always says,
‘One shot at a time,’” Davis, a senior at Malvern
Prep, said. “You can’t think too far ahead of your-
self or things will start going poorly. Hit the shot
that you know you can hit, not the shot you
think you can hit. I’ve learned that once you get
down on yourself and quit, it’s tough to come
back. If you already in your head think you’re not
hitting it well and aren’t going to play well, that’s
where you have problems.”
A first glance at Davis says imposing. He is 6
feet 3 inches tall with a golf swing that screams
power. A handshake and smile later says wel-
coming. Expect friendliness, a few jokes and a
competitive fire — positive attitude included —
if you’re paired with the soft-spoken youngster.
“That’s usually what I think about: to be a
good person on the course, to be someone
people like to play golf with,” Davis said.
“Whether it’s with a firm handshake to a fellow
competitor after the round is complete or a
meaningful ‘thank you’ to a GAP staff member
or volunteer, the Association is always aware
that Matthew Davis has conducted himself
properly during a competition,” Tournament
Director Chris Roselle added.
As mentioned, family is at the core of Davis’
conduct. It’s Bill and Michael who, coincidentally, encouraged Matthew to increase his
involvement in golf. An avid sports junkie,
Matthew dabbled in basketball and football
throughout his childhood. Golf gained his full
attention toward the end of his time at St.
“I thought I could try to get really good at golf.
I thought it was my best option,” he said. “Once I
decided that, I started playing every day. My dad
and brother helped me a lot.”
Family influence spreads to academia, too.
Upon graduation, Matthew will attend Villanova,
alma matter of parents Bill and Debra, where he
plans to major in business.
The Davis family is admittedly wild for the
Wildcats. They are men’s basketball season
ticketholders; Wright is a good friend.
Just so happens that Wright published his
first book, “Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset
on and Off the Court,” earlier this year.
“I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet
but my mom has. She said it was great,” Matthew said. “I’m sure I will definitely read it at
some point.” m
– Tony Regina
That’s what I think
JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
about: to be someone
people like to play
golf with.” “
Aronimink Golf Club