By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the area’s top young golfers is leading the way for Temple.
Freshman Brandon Matthews has hit the ground running on North Broad Street. He was just named the Atlantic 10 Golf Rookie of the Week for a third straight week, and during that time he also picked up a conference player of the week honor, as well. That’s quite a run of success for someone six weeks into a college career, but Matthews says he was confident he would be able to make an immediate impact.
“Definitely,” Matthews tells KYW Newsradio. “I had a great summer. I had been working with my coach, swing-wise, for awhile. And coming in I really knew I could make an impact. It was whether I was just going to play good at the right times. And so far, it’s been going alright. I love it here. I’m just doing all I can to help the team out.”
That includes winning the Hartford Hawks Invitational last month on the first hole of a sudden death playoff and shooting the lowest round for a Temple golfer since 1973 when he carded a final round 64 at the McLaughlin.
“Right now my iron game is very good,” Matthews says. “Last couple of tournaments, I probably hit 15 to 16 greens per round. I’m just striking the ball really well with my irons. My driving is getting there. And the putting needs to come along a little further.”
A product of Pittston Area High School about two hours north of the city in Luzerne County (where he won the 2010 PIAA Championship), Matthews says growing up golf wasn’t his only athletic passion.
“I was a very, very big baseball player. I was on seven teams when I was 11,12 years old. Then after that I kind of got burnt out with baseball. And then golf picked up from there. I really started enjoying it. Absolutely love the sport, it’s so much fun to me. Especially – you can not perfect this game. It’s the hardest game out there, no matter what. It’s just fun for me to play everyday and keep getting better and just seeing how far I can go.”
And while Matthews still has a whole lot of golf to play at Temple, he has goals on the links beyond college.
“Win a major. It’s as simple as that. Be on the PGA Tour and to win one of four majors . . . you’re on top of the world.”
Matthews and the rest of the Temple golf team will take part in the Big 5 Invitational at Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley this weekend.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.