OULTON HALL’S Torren Matthews was unable to take the ultimate step and claim a place at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale later this month when he missed out in yesterday’s final qualifying at Notts (Hollinwell).
But the 23-year-old can take great pride at having got so close after setting a new course record at Alwoodley last week where he won the regional qualifying event over the Leeds course.
Matthews made an inauspicious start with a three-putt bogey at the second.
But he played immaculately for the remainder of the round – indeed, he hit all 18 greens in regulation – notching six birdies for his record-breaking five-under-par 66.
“I wasn’t aware I’d broken the course record until someone told me,” said Matthews, who was a latecomer to the sport of golf.
He first picked up a club at 15 and, as his handicap plummeted from 24 to five in two years, gained a golf scholarship through Leeds City College, with England Golf’s assistance.
“My dad, Jason, mum, Donna, and brother, Zarin, were overwhelmed with my win,” said Matthews, who modestly passed on credit for his performance to his coach Greg Hyde, from the Mike Walker Academy at Mid Yorkshire.
“I’ve been working with Greg for the past few years and he has worked wonders for my game.”
Matthews shot 77 78 yesterday at Notts (Hollinwell) where fellow Yorkshireman Joe Dean was top qualifier.