It was the third playoff hole at the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in Argentina and a spot in The Open was on the line. Brandon Matthews, a relatively unknown golfer, had an eight-foot putt to extend the playoff to a fourth hole.
In the middle of his backswing, a fan shouted out and you could see Matthews visibly change his swing path, he knew he missed it when he hit it.
Matthews in frustration turned to the crowd and said, “come on guys, seriously!”
What Matthews didn’t know, was that the man that shouted out at him, has Down Syndrome.
When Matthews found this out, he immediately asked an official to take him to the man. Matthews met the man, gave him a hug, signed a glove and ball and chatted with him for a few minutes.
Matthews said after that he, “I wanted to make sure that he didn’t feel badly about the situation. I grew up around people with special needs because of what my mom did when I was a kid and have a soft spot in my heart [for people with special needs].”
It is always harder to do the right thing in life, to go out of your way for someone, and Brandon Matthews did. He may have missed the putt and missed out on playing at The Open, which only takes 156 entrants. But I have a good feeling, for the first time next year, there will be 157 entrants. One exemption for a player who exemplified greatness off the course, and Brandon Matthews completely deserves that.