Brandon Matthewsmeasures his golf game by its prog- ress. “You have to keep taking steps forward,” the Temple University sopho- more said. Those strides were lengthy onesin 2013. Matthews capped a historical campaign with his first William Hyndman,
III Player of the Year Award. The 19 year old from
Dupont, Pa., posted a record 1,180 points to clear
rival Michael McDermott, a five-time POY winner
himself, by 204.5 points.
“In a way, ‘Yes,’” said Matthews of his
thoughts of his preseason chances on winning
the Player of the Year. “I went out this year and
struggled in the college spring season a little bit.
But I worked on what I needed to work on with
my [Temple] coach [Brian Quinn]. I improved
my short game and putting. Getting into June,
my game started getting to where I couldn’t shoot
over par. It’s all about progression.”
Matthews “jump started” his summer on June
3, and became a Golf Channel sensation with a
scintillating par-saving chip-in on the final hole of a
U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at Purchase, N. Y., to
what was believed at the time earn a berth to Mer-
ion. He would eventually settle for alternate status.
Still, unlimited access to the practice range and
putting green facilities at Merion during U.S. Open
week proved invaluable.
“It showed me that I’m not too far behind,” said
Matthews of what he learned standing shoulder-
to-shoulder with the world’s best players. “When
I was hitting balls on that range, there wasn’t too
much of a difference in my ball striking and theirs.
Obviously the short game and putting separates
them. You go out and watch them chip and putt and
it’s like, ‘Oh my god.’ It showed me what I needed
to work on. It also showed me how my hard work
over the past few years has paid off.”
Matthews rapped tee shots, irons and wedges
next to Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and a host of
other big names. In fact, his favorite moment came
on the putting green mid-week when only he and
Woods were there.
“They are preparing for a Major. I’m not going
to go up and pick their brain while they are practic-
ing and working hard,” said Matthews. “It’s like a
big project you’ve been waiting for all year. That’s
not the position I wanted to put any of those guys
in. I just stood back and observed. You can learn a
lot by just doing that.”
Matthews’ skills and, now higher than ever con-
fidence, were lethal adversaries in Golf Association
Matthews’ golf game measures up
in winning Hyndman POY By Martin D. Emeno, Jr.
GAP PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
BY THE NUMBERS
Record point-total amassed by Brandon Matthews
of Glenmaura National Golf Club en route to his
first William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Award.
Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club, a five-time
POY recipient and this year’s runner-up, held the
previous high point total of 1,095 from 2003.
“When I was hitting
balls on that range
[at the U.S. Open],
there wasn’t too
much of a difference
in my ball striking
Matthews at U.S. Open range.
Matthews won the 109th Open Championship
at Waynesborough Country Club.