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Brandon Matthews, from NEPA, to Make PGA Tour Debut


Pittston, Luzerne County, PA - Brandon Matthews' opportunity to play on the PGA Tour has arrived.


"Any way I can make people's lives better, the game better, I'm proud to be a part of that" 


The upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational announced Thursday that it has given Matthews a special exemption into next week's tournament.

It will be the first PGA Tour start for Matthews, 25, of Dupont.

"To get an exemption into this tournament, it's really special, especially because this is Mr. Palmer's tournament," Matthews said in a video shared by the Arnold Palmer Invitational. "To be recognized in any light with him is special."

Matthews, who won a state championship during his high school career at Pittston Area, made national news in November during a PGA Tour Latinoamerica Event in Buenos Aires.

While competing for the Argentine Open championship and a spot in the 2020 British Open at Royal St. George's, Matthews attempted an 8-foot putt for birdie. He needed to make the putt to force a fourth playoff hole against Ricardo Celia.

But when a fan shouted during Matthews' backstroke, Matthews flinched and missed his shot.

Celia won the tournament and earned a spot in the British Open, one of the PGA's four majors, but Matthews' graceful response earned praise from all corners.

After learning the fan who yelled was a middle-aged man with special needs who unintentionally lost control of his emotions, Matthews rushed from the locker room back out to the golf course to make things right.

"I went out, found the guy, gave him a big hug, signed a ball and a glove for him and wanted to make sure he didn't feel bad about the situation," Matthews said at the time. "I wanted to make sure he left with a smile on his face."

The Arnold Palmer Invitational retold that story in Thursday's video.

"Any way I can make people's lives better, the game better, I'm proud to be a part of that," Matthews said.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational will be held next Thursday, March 5 through Sunday, March 8 at Bay Hill Golf Course in Orlando, Florida.

An event with a purse of $9.3 million, it will be televised on Golf Channel and NBC.

Last year's champion was Francesco Molinari, while the star-studded field also included Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.

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