Pittston Area’s Brandon Matthews, the reigning PIAA State Champion, won his fourth straight Tryba Preseason Tournament at Fox Hill.photo by BILL TARUTIS
In his first high school tournament since winning a state title in 2010, Brandon Matthews took the best shots of his opponents and Fox Hill Country Club during the 10th annual Tryba Preseason Golf Tournament.
The Pittston Area senior battled the course – which was in stellar shape after the weekend rain with the help of superintendent Ron Garrison – but the No. 8 hole was closed and 17B, which isn’t played too often, was played to make up the 18 holes.
Then Matthews dealt with Holy Redeemer sophomore Mariano Medico, who was playing with the standout and stuck with him on every hole before the Patriot took a stroke advantage after the 18th.
After Matthews got past Medico, he had another Royal sophomore to worry about. Chase Makowski tied Matthews’ 1-under 69 through the first 18 and forced a playoff.
It took two holes, but Matthews finally clinched his fourth straight title in the tournament scoring four on No. 2, while Makowski settled for five.
“Four in a row feels good. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my A-game today or by B-game,” Matthews said. “This one is very, very sentimental to me. I love this tournament. To go from three in a row to a record that cannot be beaten that’s special.”
After Medico birdied No. 16, he tied Matthews for the lead at 3-under; but both struggled on No. 17 allowing Makowski to get into contention.
Medico had an opportunity to bury Matthews on the 17th after Matthews’ second shot sailed behind trees and his third shot sailed into a bunker. Matthews took a triple bogey 7 on the hole. Medico scored six, but his fifth shot cupped out otherwise, he would have taken a two-stroke lead with two holes to go.
They both shot 3s on 17B and went to 18 with Medico up by one. That’s when Matthews birdied the par-4 18 and Medico bogeyed to give the Patriot the lead.
“Since I was one down (after 17) I knew definitely I could easily come back because I knew I could drive the green,” Matthews noted. “And there aren’t many players who could do that.”
That’s exactly what Matthews did hitting a booming drive on 18 to help score birdie. He did the same thing on No. 2, the second playoff hole when he launched his drive about 30 yards in front of the green then ended the playoff. It was a similar strategy he used to win the state title when he blasted several long drives in York on that breezy day last October.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Matthews said about knowing he hits long drives. “It was the same feeling on No. 18 at states. That was the longest drive of my life. It feels good every time you hit one of those.”
Medico and Makowski couldn’t stop Matthews’ run, but they contributed to a run of their own as the Royals claimed their second straight Tryba tournament team championship holding off Pittston Area 296-299. Redeemer also got strong scores from Will Fulton and Eric Jones, who scored 77 and 80 respectively.
Those scores were slightly better than the Patriots’ Ryan Tracy (71), Matt Carroll (77) and Calvin O’Boyle (82).
Nick Rydzewski of Wyoming Area was the top finisher for the Warriors, shooting a 36-41, 77 to finish 17th. Zack Mulhern finished 37th with a 41-44, 85.
Fellow WA golfer Courtney Melvin was the only female to participate in the tournament. She shot 88 to finish 47th in the 80-member field.
Top 10 Individual
Scores (plus locals)
1. Brandon Matthews, PA…33-36-69
2. Chase Makowski, HR…34-35-69
3. Mariano Medico, HR…33-37-70
4. Ryan Tracy, PA…33-38-71
5. Chris McCue, Valley West…34-37-71
6. Austin Smith, Dallas…36-36-72
7. Rudy Georgetti, Dallas…35-38-73
8. Chris Nixon, Valley West…36-37-73
9. Ty Morzilla, Berwick…37-37-74
10. Shamus Gartley, Coughlin…35-39-74
16. Matt Carroll, PA…36-41-77
17. Nick Rydzewski, WA…36-41-77
28. Calvin O’Boyle, PA…41-41-82
37. Zack Mulhern, WA…41-44-85
39. C.J. Lynch, PA…39-47-86
47. Courtney Melvin, WA…42-46-88
60. Jake Wysocki, WA…43-50-93
66. Connor Mangan, WA…50-45-95
72. Mike Carey, WA…47-51-98
77. Angelo Guariglia, PA…47-61-108
2. Pittston Area…299
4. Valley West…308
9. Wyoming Area…343
11. Hanover Area…362
Tournament Champions Individual
2002 – Ross Brown, Seminary 75
2003 – Eric Plisko, Hanover 73
2004 – Joe Bevevino, Dallas 73
2005 – Rob Glyncefer, WA 76
2006 – Mike Hirthler, Bishop Hoban 74
2007 – Dakota Brown, Tunk.
2008 – Brandon Matthews, PA 71
2009 – Brandon Matthews, PA 69
2010 – Brandon Matthews, PA 69
2011 – Brandon Matthews, PA 69