Brandon Matthews missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole at the Open de Argentina on Sunday afternoon, falling to Ricardo Celia in the PGA Tour Latinoamerica stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Yet during his backswing, a fan watching yelled out. Matthews, clearly distracted by the fan, missed the putt — not only costing him a chance at his second win on the Latinoamerica tour, but also a spot in The Open Championship.
As nearly any golfer in that situation would, Matthews let the fan have it.
“I’d been putting really well all week, and I had no doubt that I was going to make the putt,” Matthews said, via Golf Digest. “At that stage, any minute noise resonates.
“I gave it a little too much right hand, missed it and turned around and said, ‘Come on guys, seriously?!’ I was obviously frustrated about it.”
It wasn’t until later that a tour official informed Matthews that the man who yelled during his putt had Down syndrome. So, the 25-year-old rushed back out onto the course.
He wanted to meet him.
Matthews ended up giving the fan a hug, signed a golf ball and a glove and talked with him for a few minutes.
“It was a middle-aged man with a mental disability,” Matthews said, via the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. “He said something and got excited. There’s nothing you can do about that. 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. It’s just one of those things that happens. Unfortunately it was out of my control.”
Matthews has been on an impressive stretch this month on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, having finished T5 at the Neuquen Argentina Classic the week before. His performance in Buenos Aires marked his best finish since 2017, too.
While a win on Sunday would’ve been huge for the former Temple golfer — especially with a spot in The Open Championship on the line — he isn’t letting it bother him too much.
“There are some things in life that are just bigger than golf,” Matthews said, via the PGA Tour. “And this was one of them.”
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