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The dogleg-right, par-4 finishing hole at Victoria National GC is 432 yards on the scorecard, with the layout running around a lake that can wreck your score if not played well.
Most players will usually attempt to play around the water, unless your name is Brandon Matthews, who took a more direct line to the green as his 370 yard drive landed on the front edge and came to finish not far from the flag.
A photo posted by on
Since 2012, there has been no mention of any player driving the green, unsurprisingly, but that all changed on Friday.
Needing an eagle at the last to make it into the weekend, Matthews decided to go for the green. Measuring 368 yards on a direct line, with a carry of “somewhere around 330 to 340” yards over the water, the ball was crushed as it landed on the front edge and rolled to around 15-foot.
Unfortunately, his eagle effort just slid by the hole and he missed the cut by one shot. However, the American could take a crumb of comfort in the fact he secured a PGA Tour card for next season, as Matthews is set to tee make his Tour debut at the Fortinet Championship later this month.
Speaking after his round, Matthews was asked about that moment on 18, with the 28-year-old admitting that: “Our line was… there are some red umbrellas on the clubhouse that we saw. That was kind of our line, if we had any bit of help at all. If I wasn’t in that position, I wouldn’t be hitting driver at the green… I love doing stuff like that. It’s fun.”
One of Matthews' playing partners, Ben Martin, added: “Thomas Detry takes an aggressive line off 18 tee, and the guy behind us says, ‘That’s an aggressive line,’ and then Brandon turns to the guy and says, ‘You want to see an aggressive line? Watch this.
“We thought it might go in, when it was in the air, and then walking off the tee, he said he needed to make eagle to make the cut. We were all pulling for him; that was pretty cool. I said, ‘I don’t think Fazio had this in mind when he designed the 18th hole.'"
“Not directly at it … that’s a little crazy,” remarked Matthews. “Our line was … there are some red umbrellas on the clubhouse that we saw. That was kind of our line, if we had any bit of help at all.
“If I wasn’t in that position, I wouldn’t be hitting driver at the green … I love doing stuff like that. It’s fun.”
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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