PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Some things in life are just bigger than golf.” That’s what Brandon Matthews, a Temple University graduate and professional golfer, proved on Sunday.
Matthews was putting on the third hole of a playoff, with a guaranteed spot in The Open — one of golf’s four major tournaments — on the line. Sink the putt and Matthews was in.
Matthews, 25, plays on the Korn Ferry Tour — the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit — so a spot in one of golf’s major tournaments would have been a huge deal.
Matthews lined up to putt for a shot at the win when a fan yelled during his backswing. The Temple product missed the putt and lost the playoff.
The golfer appeared visibly upset at first. That was until he learned who was yelling.
“At the time, I was disappointed that someone would scream out under the circumstances,” Matthews told reporters.
When he learned that the fan had Down syndrome, he immediately asked to meet him. pic.twitter.com/kBbVNqNwsh
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 18, 2019
According to PGATOUR.com, a tour official told Matthews the fan who yelled was a middle-aged man with Down syndrome.
Matthews then asked to meet the fan.
“The guy was out there, he was enjoying it,” Matthew said. “I feel for the guy cause I’m sure he felt terrible, that’s why I went and gave him a glove and a ball afterwards and gave him a hug.”
Matthews autographed his glove for the fan and gave him a hug.
“I was around mental disability growing up, and I have a soft spot in my heart for it. Those are really special people,” Matthews told The Golf Channel. “I felt so terrible that I was even upset. I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t feel bad.
“I didn’t want anyone to be mad at him. I didn’t want him to be mad at himself. I wanted to make sure he knew that I wasn’t mad. That’s all I wanted to do.”
Matthews turned pro after wrapping up his career at Temple in 2016.