Brandon Matthews was locked in a playoff at the Argentine Open on PGA Tour Latinoamerica, facing an 8-footer to extend the sudden-death session at the Jockey Club in Buenos Aires to a fourth hole.
As Matthews was putting, a fan in the gallery shouted. The noise distracted Matthews enough to miss the putt and cost him the tournament, losing out to Ricardo Celia. Not only did Matthews lose the tournament, but he also lost a spot in the British Open Championship reserved for the winner of this Argentine Open, one of the longest-running golf tournaments in the world.
In most situations, Matthews would be well within his right to be frustrated by the fan's behavior. However, in this situation, Matthews turned his disappointment into compassion and something special.
Matthews learned the fan who shouted during his putt has Down Syndrome. The shouting was beyond the fan's control. It was an unfortunate time for the shouting to happen, but there was no malice behind it.
When he learned that the fan had Down syndrome, he immediately asked to meet him. pic.twitter.com/kBbVNqNwsh
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 18, 2019
So, Matthews did the only thing he could do. He came over to the fan, embraced him and signed a golf ball glove for him.
Great story on LA Tour. Brandon Matthews had 8ft to continue playoff, in his backstroke a young man yelled and Matthews missed. The young man has Downs Syndrome. In a very tough situation what did Matthews do? Went over to talk to the young man and signed a glove for him #awesome
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) November 18, 2019
"He said something, and got excited. There's nothing you can do about that," Matthews said. "The guy was out there; he was enjoying it. I feel for the guy. I'm sure he felt terrible. That's why I went and gave him a glove and a ball afterwards and gave him a hug."
While Matthews didn't come out with the trophy on Sunday, he did vault up dramatically on the order of merit. Matthews went from 91st to 33rd on the money list, landing a spot in the PGA Tour Latinoamerica season-ending Shell Championship in Florida in two weeks. The purse for the tournament is big enough to give Matthews a chance to end the season in the top five in the money list, which would earn him a spot on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour.
Then a fan with Down Syndrome moved and talked right as Matthews was about to make his stroke.
He missed the 🐦 and the 🏆.
His reaction? A class act with this fan 👏 pic.twitter.com/FzclyWACaR
— PGATOURLA (@PGATOURLA) November 18, 2019
“I played really nicely, I plotted myself around the golf course like I said I was going to do,” Matthews said. “I played incredibly intelligent golf today. I made sure that I didn’t make any mental errors, and I did not, and it really paid off in the end. I have no complaints.”
He added, “I have no complaints. The things I did today, that I could control, I’m really proud of myself.”