Brandon Matthews embraces fan after their outburst cost him a PGA Tour Latinoamerica title
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Brandon Matthews embraces fan after their outburst cost him a PGA Tour Latinoamerica title



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.

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.

"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.

“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.”

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com