Chip Souza is the sports editor of the four daily newspapers that comprise Northwest Arkansas Newspapers. Chip has been a sports writer for most of the past 26 years, earning numerous awards in Texas and Arkansas. Chip was named the sports editor of The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas in 2004 and the sports section earned six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards, including Top 10 Daily, Top 10 Sunday and Top 10 Special Section in its circulation category.
Matthews goes low in first LPGA event
Arkansas golfer Brooke Matthews tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Arkansas State Golf Association's Women's Stroke Play Championship on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock.
ROGERS — Brooke Matthews is one of a number of University of Arkansas golfers who have benefited from having the LPGA Northwest Arkansas Championship in their own backyard.
The former Rogers standout and current Razorback proved she belonged among the best female golfers in the world this week, firing a 7 under for the tournament to finish tied for 49th with a 70-69-67—206.
Matthews earned a place in the tournament field through a sponsorship exemption and used a solid 69 on Saturday to make the cut. She followed that up with a 67 on Sunday.
“This was an amazing experience,” Matthews said. “It was just a really cool week to get to play against the best in the world. I was feeling good about my game, so making the cut was a bonus and I learned a lot from these great players out here.”
Matthews struggled some early in her second round but closed strong. That late push to make the cut gave her the confidence she needed to go even lower on Sunday, she said.
“I knew I was hitting it well,” she said. “I started to see some putts go in, so I just tried to carry that into today.”
Having played Pinnacle Country Club many times, she was able to use that course knowledge to her benefit, Matthews said.
Matthews said the confidence earned this week would be a huge advantage heading into her collegiate season this fall.
“I feel really good about my game,” Matthews said. “I know there are places I can improve, but I feel like this will be a big boost for me moving forward.”
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