Brandon Matthews in 2022 Wells Fargo Championship field showcases the longest player in golf - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Brandon Matthews in 2022 Wells Fargo Championship field showcases the longest player in golf

How long is Brandon Matthews, and is he the longest professional in the world? There are a number of different ways to tell that story, but first a more pressing question ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship: Who in the world is Brandon Matthews?

The 27-year-old played his college golf at Temple before making his way on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in 2017. From there, he graduated to the Korn Ferry Tour and bounced between those two tours for the next few years. In 2021, after winning two events, he scored PGA Tour Latinoamerica Player of the Year honors. Earlier this year, he earned his first win on the Korn Ferry Tour with a victory at the Astara Championship.

Though he currently projects to graduate from the Korn Ferry Tour to the PGA Tour next season, he’s in the Wells Fargo field this week — just the second PGA Tour start of his career — on a sponsor exemption. His first start was the Arnold Palmer Championship in 2020, which was the last event before the tour shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Matthews didn’t fare that well at Bay Hill, shooting 75-81 to miss the cut.

His game has improved since then, as is normal for mid-20-somethings on the Korn Ferry Tour, and he’s poised to play his first weekend on the big boy circuit. All of this brings us back to the question you’ve all been thinking about: How long is Brandon Matthews?

There are a thousand ways to answer that question. Here are a few.

Matthews is so long that he led the Korn Ferry Tour in driving distance in 2019 at 331.3 yards. He was second the year before at 333.7 yards. The year before that he averaged 341.5 yards off the tee but didn’t have enough drives to qualify for the distance title. Last year’s PGA Tour distance leader was Bryson DeChambeau, who averaged 323.7 yards.

He’s so long that his fairway finder drive is purportedly longer than the longest player on the PGA Tour.

“I mean, my normal one that I’ve been hitting, kind of the ‘fairway finder cruiser’ will fly somewhere … just over 330, and then if I kind of lift one, I can fly north of 340,” said Matthews on Tuesday.

Matthews is so long that he’s dropped in the Korn Ferry Tour driving distance rankings so far this year, probably partly because he’s unable to hit driver on some of the courses he plays.

“Two out of the last three weeks I took driver out of the bag, and it’s just so painful to do,” said Matthews this week. “I’ve been hitting my driver so well for the past few years. We just looked at golf courses, my caddie and I, Colton, the last few weeks and it just doesn’t fit anywhere. There’s not a hole that we can hit it.”

Matthews is so long that his stock 4-iron flies nearly 250 yards.

He’s long enough to melt grown men and make them sound like kids.

He’s so long that fellow Korn Ferry Tour player, Justin Hueber, recently told this story about him on the No Laying Up podcast. 

“Waterloo Open last year,” said Hueber. “They have a long drive contest on the day before the tournament and it’s on the first hole, it’s a par 5, dogleg left. I’m talking to Brandon and I tell him, ‘You have to do this.’ He’s like, ‘All right, I’ll go sign up.’ I’m sitting there watching the guys hit. First guy, 330. Next guy, 350 or whatever. Guy hits one out there like 365, feeling pretty good about himself.

“Brandon gets up there, and I’m like, ‘This is going to be incredible.’ Little dogleg left and downhill where these guys are probably flying it. Misses the fairway on his first one. You get three shots. Hits the fairway on his second one, 370. His last one, it’s the longest golf ball — until I saw Kyle Berkshire — [I’ve ever seen] hit in my life. It went 404 yards. Where it lands is uphill, it had to fly 398. He hit it and I was like, ‘Oh … my gosh.’ High draw, it had to go 140 feet in the air. It was in the air for like 8 seconds.”

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter, Jonathan Coachman and Mark Immelman to preview the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Matthews is perhaps the longest good player in the world, and we’ll get to see that this week on the PGA Tour. His story is also great. You may remember him as the player whose putting stroke was thrown off a few years ago by a fan with Down’s syndrome who yelled at the end of the Argentina Open. There was a spot into the Open Championship on the line, and Matthews missed out because of that missed putt. He handled the situation, though, with the grace and humility of somebody twice his age.

So he’s worth watching, obviously, and also worth rooting for, but surely Matthews is hopeful that the two primary questions that have followed him around for the last few years are transformed as he makes his way onto the PGA Tour. Because you can watch him hit driver and say, “How long is Brandon Matthews?” and you can watch what he did in Argentina and say, “How nice is Brandon Matthews?” And while those things are great and worthy of admiration, Matthews would love to have them merged into a different question about the PGA Tour and a time in the future when folks wonder aloud, “Just how good can this guy be?”

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