Matthews entered 2022 on the heels of a two-win season on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the No. 1 spot on the Tour’s money list during the combined 2020-21 season, earning fully exempt Korn Ferry Tour status in the process.
Through the early part of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour slate, he has made the cut in three straight events and was just one shot back of Carson Young’s winning total in Panama.
He had a slight miscommunication with his caddie coming down the stretch Sunday in Panama, he said, and thought his 25-footer on the 72nd hole was to tie the clubhouse lead. It wasn’t the case, but after draining the putt, he said he was “thrilled” with how he was able to handle what he perceived as final-round, final-hole pressure.
That feeling was partly a reflection of how he’s matured in every aspect of golf, and life, over the last few years.
He has a new swing coach, Dale Gray, who is based in New York but frequents Florida to see Matthews and his whip-strong action. Brian Symonds, based in Florida as the owner of Winston Trails GC, has become “instrumental” in getting Matthews to display the type of form he has shown over the past 12 months.
“It’s honestly incredible how good my short game has got in the year since I’ve been going to see (Symonds),” said Matthews. “You can get taught all you want, but you still have to put in the work. I’ve been trying to put in as much work as I possibly can. Treat my body correctly. It’s been a great progression over the last couple of years.”