CLARKS SUMMIT — A late birdie vaulted former Pittston Area golf standout Brandon Matthews into a tie for the lowest score of the day at a local qualifying round for the U.S. Open Tournament held at the Country Club of Scranton Wednesday afternoon.
Honesdale resident Eric Williams tied with Matthews while Danville High School senior Robbie Seebold secured the third qualifying score.
The birdie on the 18th hole finalized Matthews’ score of 76. While his score was four shots over par, it is good enough to advance Matthews to the sectional qualifying round, most likely to be played at the Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.
“Today I had a mediocre front nine. I didn’t play well, didn’t putt well,” said Matthews, currently a member of the Temple University golf team and fresh off winning the Atlantic 10 rookie of the year award. “I was looking for something to get me going on the back nine and I eagled 12 to get back down to three over and hold the lead going into the next hole. On the 14th I hit a ball out of bounds, but I was able to recover and I birdied the last hole.”
For the Matthews, it will certainly be a welcome change in courses for the sectional round.
“It was very tough, it was probably the toughest layout and conditions I have ever seen,” said Matthews, speaking of the course at the Country Club of Scranton. “I played at Century in a college tournament not too long ago and I feel pretty decent about the course.
“But the bottom line is I need to play well. I need to continue to get better, with everything. The biggest thing I need to continue to work on is my putting. It’s starting to get a lot better, but it still needs some work. If I can get my putter going I’m pretty confident that I might be able to make a run at placing high enough in the sectional to advance.”