On Sunday, Dupont native and Pittston Area grad Brandon Matthews had an opportunity to qualify for The Open Championship by winning the Argentine Open.
On the third playoff hole against Ricardo Celia, Matthews had a birdie putt to extend the playoff; however, someone yelled out during his backswing. Matthews missed the putt, losing the tournament and missing out on a berth in the British Open.
Although initially disappointed and frustrated, Matthews soon learned that the person who yelled out has Down Syndrome, and lost control of his emotions during that critical moment. Matthews requested to meet the man, where he consoled him, gave him a hug, and signed a ball and glove for him.
“I Just made sure that he understood that I wasn’t upset,” Matthews told Eyewitness Sports. “Made sure that he had a positive experience out of it all. And just made sure that he didn’t feel any bad feelings from what happened because people with Down Syndrome are really incredible people. I grew up around several. And it made my day to see the smile that I saw on his face and the glove and the ball. That was just as good as a win for me.”
Matthews has earned fully exempt status on PGA Tour Latinoamerica, as he continues his journey toward the highest level of professional golf.