You know what they say about hero shots: try them at your peril.
They’re enticing for everyone from pros to recreational players, but they rarely work out as expected.
When they do, though, it’s pretty incredible.
Just ask Brandon Matthews, a Korn Ferry Tour player who was faced with a tempting scenario on Friday at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind.
Matthews fired a one-under 71 on Thursday, and needed to get to two under overall through Round 2 in order to make the cut.
He was even par through his front nine, but then things got interesting on the back. Matthews birdied the par-5 10th, only to suffer a disastrous quadruple-bogey on the par-4 12th, bringing him to three over on the day, and four shots shy of the cut line.
But Matthews battled back, going birdie-eagle-birdie on Nos. 14-16 to get back to one under for the round and two under overall. With two holes remaining, seeing the weekend looked promising.
But a wayward drive on the par-4 17th resulted in a double-bogey, bringing Matthews to one over on the day and even for the tournament — an excruciating two shots shy of the cut line.
Those are the circumstances that ultimately set up an outrageous scenario. Matthews needed an eagle on the par-4 18th, a 432-yard dogleg right — a difficult ask for a birdie, let alone an eagle 2.
So what did Matthews do? He attempted the hero shot — a direct line to the flag from the tee that required a reported 370-yard carry over water.
You read that right. And incredibly, Matthews pulled it off.
His drive hit the green, setting up a 15-foot opportunity for the much-needed eagle.
Matthews unfortunately missed the putt and had to settle for birdie. His final score: an even-par 72 on the day, one under for the tournament. A painful one-shot shy of the two-under score he needed to make the cut.
Although Matthews headed home earlier this weekend, that drive will likely be famous for years. And as one of the Korn Ferry Tour’s top 25 players this year, Matthews has already punched his ticket to the PGA Tour next season.
Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more of that firepower off the tee in prime time soon.