Monday, January 18, 2021

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Matthews cruises to five-shot win in Puerto Plata

Starting the day with a par at the first, a hole where he made birdie-birdie-eagle the first three days, Matthews recorded his first birdie at the par-3 second. “That birdie was really big; settled me down a little bit, got me in the flow of the round,” said the Temple University alum who made his only bogey of the day on the next hole.

After that he pretty much didn’t miss a golf shot, making back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 to keep his challengers away. Ahead by four through nine, Matthews opened the back nine with birdies on 10 and 11 to cruise to victory the rest of the way. His last two birdies, on 16 and 18, formed the punctuation mark to a solid weekend in which he shot 14-under.

“I’m really proud that I extended my lead. I think that probably the hardest thing to do in golf is to have a several-shot lead and extend it throughout the day. I really played almost as good as I could have. I put [the ball] in every spot that I needed to put it in and trusted my putter a lot,” said the man who now ranks third on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit.

Matthews didn’t see his Puerto Plata win as any sort of vindication after losing the 2019 Argentine Open. “You know, things happen, and I keep telling everyone that I never got upset about [being distracted by the fan]. I don’t hold it over my head at all. It’s not anything like that. My second-place finish there allowed me to regain status on this Tour, so if I didn’t finish second that week I might not be here right now,” added the champion.

Entering the day in a tie for seventh, Conner Godsey shot 64 to finish six shots behind in a two-way tie for third, with Brendon Doyle, who joined Matthews in the last grouping. Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti, the other player in the final group, finished another stroke back, in a tie for fifth, with Patrick Newcomb.

Coming off a victory a week ago at the Shell Open, MJ Maguire finished at 18-under to join Argentina’s Leandro Marelli in a tie for seventh. The finish allowed Maguire to earn enough points to take the Order of Merit lead away from Brazil’s Alex Rocha, who now ranks second. 

Did you know Brandon Mathews is one of only 30 players with multiple career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica wins? By adding the 2020 Puerto Plata Open title to his win at the 2017 Molino Cañuelas Championship, Matthews became the 17th player with two PGA TOUR Latinoamérica trophies. Ahead of that group are nine players with three wins and four with four wins.

Key Information

Born in Dupont, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1994, Brandon Matthews claimed this title at age 26 years, 4 months, 23 days.

The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, was in attendance on this final day and he presented the tournament trophy to Brandon Matthews during the closing ceremony.

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