AUG. 13, 2012
Matthews Snares Patterson Cup, Silver Cross
Brandon Matthews flipped the page on a
stirling junior career just two weeks ago, intent
on quickly penning the next chapter of an already
impressive golf résumé.
Three tournaments into the amateur ranks,
Matthews made the immediate impact he hoped
for by securing a pair of the Golf Association of
Philadelphia’s most prestigious prizes.
Matthews, 18, of Dupont, Pa., blistered venerable Philadelphia Country Club with a 6-under-par
65 in the first round of the 110th Joseph H. Patterson Cup on Thursday.
When severe weather rendered PCC unplayable
for the final round on Friday, Matthews, who held a
three-stroke lead, was declared the victor.
The 65 also sent the incoming Temple University freshman to the top of the 105-year-old Silver
Cross standings, awarded for the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur
Championship and the Patterson Cup.
Golf Association of Philadelphia records have
him as the youngest Silver Cross winner in at least
the past 75 years.
“Just getting out of that junior stage and getting
my name out there quickly is a big thing,” said
Matthews, who won the Pennsylvania State Junior
Championship earlier in the summer. “To win
something like this against a ton of great players
is very special. I couldn’t be happier. I’m thrilled
with the way I played and everything I accomplished. It’s awesome.
“Obviously, it would’ve been great to play today
(Friday). I feel bad for the other players. It’s a little
bit unfair, but like I said, I’ll take what I can get. It’s
nothing for me to frown about.”
Matthews is no stranger to success. In addition
to the Pennsylvania State Junior, he won the 2011
Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Boys’ Championship and 2010 Pennsylvania Interscholastic
Athletic Association title, among other crowns.
On Friday, Matthews looked the championship
part from the Patterson Cup’s outset.
He birdied No. 1 (par 4, 325 yards) after almost
driving the green, then the par- 5, 558-yard third
after knocking his second shot, a 4-iron, onto the
putting surface from 227 yards.
Matthews doubled his score to 4 under on the
next par 5, No. 6 (500 yards), when he holed his
third shot from 30 yards for an eagle 3.
A tight wedge shot on No. 8 (par 4, 390 yards)
resulted in another red circle and put Matthews at
Patterson Cup winner Brandon Matthews
5-under 31 at the turn.
“All I’m thinking is just cruise along, try to limit
the bogeys, bunt it down the fairways, bunt it on
the greens and make a couple of putts,” said Matthews of his thoughts after nine.
He reached the next par 5 – No. 12 measuring
575 yards – in two as well, and tapped in for birdie
after a seven-foot eagle putt slid left of the cup.
His final birdie came on the short, uphill par- 4
13th (375 yards). Matthews’ lone bogey came on
the hardest scoring hole of the tournament, No. 15
(par 3, 220 yards).
He missed the uphill green right with a 3-iron
and failed to save par.
Matthews’ 6-under 65 came within a stroke
of the modern Philadelphia Country Club course
record (established after the 2002 renovation).
Current PGA Tour player Charlie Beljan recorded a 64 (also 6 under) in the 2005 U.S. Amateur
That week, No. 6, the par 5, played as a par 4.
“I struck the ball extremely well, but believe it
or not, I didn’t make any putts,” Matthews said.
Added playing competitor P. Chet Walsh, 47, a
Philadelphia Country member for his entire life
and an 11-time club champion: “The round should
have been 61. It is the lowest score I have witnessed from the back tees.
“It was probably one shot away from the highest
score he could have shot (the chip-in on No. 6 wasn’t
going more than three feet by the hole). Brandon’s
length made the par 5s into par 4s, so he probably felt
like he was playing a par-68 golf course. He drove it
in some spots that I didn’t think were reachable.”
Four players tied for second at 3 under: Ben
Cooley, 19, of Huntingdon Valley Country Club;
Christopher Fuga, 21, of Phoenixville Country Club;
Michael Hyland, 33, of Little Mill Country Club, and
Grant Skyllas, 26, of Moselem Springs Golf Club.
Brian Colbert, 22, of White Manor Country Club,
the 2012 Amateur Champion and Silver Cross
leader heading into the event, carded a 4-over-par
75. He fell to Matthews by one stroke.
Defending Patterson Cup champion Andrew
Mason, of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, who
won the Pennsylvania State Amateur last week,
withdrew due to travel plan conflicts for the upcoming U.S. Amateur Championship in Colorado.