Brandon Matthews enjoyed a rewarding four years on the golf course for Temple, equaling a program record with eight individual titles, making the all-conference team every season and being named an honorable mention all-America last year.
Now with a degree in adult and organizational development in his pocket, the long-hitting 21-year-old is ready to take the next steps after he spends a very busy summer competing in amateur tournaments, nationwide and locally. The first is to turn pro, the second is to go back to the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament and gain a spot on the Web.com Tour.
"October is the plan," said Matthews, a resident of Dupont, Pa. "There's a few things that could happen that maybe I'll turn pro earlier, maybe I'll turn later. I'm not sure. The plan right now is to turn pro at the Q-School first stage" in early October.
"If I don't make it to the U.S. Amateur this year, which I'm going to work my butt off to do, then I might turn professional for the Pennsylvania Open [in August]. I'm not sure. That's kind of the backup plan. If I make it really deep in the U.S. Amateur, then I'll definitely stay an amateur for the Masters. That's the best thing."
Matthews reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Amateur. The two finalists in the championship customarily receive invitations to the Masters, but they must remain amateurs to participate. The U.S. Amateur qualifier for Philadelphia is on July 20.
Matthews made it through two Q-School levels last season, getting past pre-qualifying and the first stage. He will not have to pre-qualify this year.
Before all that, he will compete in three of the East's most prestigious tournaments - the Monroe Invitational on June 8-11 in Pittsford, N.Y.; the Sunnehanna Amateur on June 15-18 in Johnstown, Pa., and the Northeast Amateur on June 21-25 in Rumford, R.I.
Matthews finished fifth in the American Athletic Conference championship. He teamed last week with former teammate Patrick Ross to win medalists honors at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., shooting 14 under for two rounds.
"We had such a great week up there," said Matthews, whose team made it to the quarterfinals of match play before losing. "I was playing some really good golf. Pat was playing some really good golf as well. We were making a lot of birdies. Winged Foot was unbelievable and so much fun to play. The fact that we did well was just a bonus."
As for the state of his game, Matthews said he continues to work on all facets, particularly his putting.
"If I get my putting straightened out, I think kind of the sky is the limit," he said. "It's coming around a lot better and it actually feels pretty good right now for the most part. I've been putting some of the best that I have in a long time."
Temple coach Brian Quinn said he enjoyed watching Matthews' growth through his four years in the program.
"He's certainly ready for the next level," Quinn said. "He has a ton of ability. It's a tough road to get on to the PGA Tour and incredibly difficult. I think it was great for him last year to go through the tour school process. He knows what he has to have, and he knows how great these players are."
Matthews, who received offers from golf programs in the South before deciding to stay closer to his Luzerne County home, said he had "a great overall experience at Temple.
"I'm very, very lucky and thankful to have the people around me that I did," he said. "I was even more lucky to play some good golf. So it was a fun ride. I was really happy with my choice of colleges. Going back, I really wouldn't change a thing."