Troy Matteson talks about his 6-under 65 in Friday's first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- For five days starting last Saturday, Troy Matteson didn't touch a golf club. He did, however, spend quality time with several fishing poles.
"Just what the doctor ordered," Matteson said.
Indeed. Getting away from the golf course for an extended time paid off in Friday's first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, as the well-rested Matteson overcame an early bogey to fire a 6-under 65, the best round of any player in the morning wave.
Considering that Matteson is 97th in FedExCup points and must move up to advance to the 70-man BMW Championship, getting off to a good start at TPC Boston was imperative. Sure, three rounds still remain, but at least he won't have to dig himself out of an early hole.
"Obviously where I'm at, if I don't play well, I'm not going to play (at Cog Hill)," Matteson said. "So I look at it like the end of the school year ... is almost here, so let's just see what happens."
Matteson started the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked 84th in points, but he missed the cut at The Barclays last week and fell to 97th.
With his week finished on Friday and Hurricane Irene on its way, Matteson decided to jump in his motor home and high-tail it to the house of friends of his parents in Paul Smiths, N.Y., in the Adirondacks. Once there, he enjoyed a much-needed break with wife Shauna and 22-month-old daughter Tori.
Matteson is making his 26th start of the season this week; just a handful of players in the Deutsche Bank field have made more starts. More to the point, he hasn't been back home to Austin, Texas, since April. In fact, he's had just four off-weeks since then, as he's been grinding to make sure he earns his TOUR card for next year.
He's also spent plenty of time on the practice range -- another reason why it was good to get away from the game for a few days.
"I've been hitting balls like crazy but it hasn't been doing me a lot of good," said Matteson, who has just two top 10s in those 25 starts, having missed 11 cuts. "Sometimes you need that break."
Still, when he got to the range on Friday, he didn't feel very confident.
"I would have said if I could have kept it under 80, I would have been doing pretty good," he said. "It was just not that good of a warm-up this morning."
It didn't get any better after he bogeyed his first hole, the par-4 10th.
But at the 495-yard 14th, the longest par 4 at TPC Boston, Matteson hit his approach shot to 3-1/2 feet and got his first birdie. He was off and running from there. He birdied three straight holes around the turn and would ultimately shoot 4 under on his second nine.
The 65 is his lowest score in his last 114 rounds on the PGA TOUR, dating back to the final round of The Greenbrier last year.
"Pretty interesting round for me with how I was going into the day," Matteson said.
The key, of course, will be to maintain that momentum for the rest of the tournament. If he does, and he can keep advancing in the Playoffs, it could turn what thus far has been a "lackluster" year -- his description -- into a very good one.
"Your average TOUR pro probably succeeds about one out of 50 or one out of 100 (tournaments)," Matteson said. "Every 50 tournaments you play, hopefully you do something with it.
"But I'm getting up to that 50 mark and I haven't done anything yet. Hopefully we'll push through."