Who is Matthew Wolff? 5 things to know about the U.S. Open leader
The final round of the 2020 U.S. Open is underway at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., but the player in the lead, Matthew Wolff, might be an unfamiliar face to casual golf fans. If you find yourself in that group, here are five important things to know about the U.S. Open leader.
1. Matthew Wolff is only 21 years old!
Let’s get the most notable thing out of the way first. Wolff, who turned 21 in April, is technically a rookie on the PGA Tour, having made his professional debut last June at the 2019 Travelers Championship in Connecticut (he previously played the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open in February as an amateur). At that point, the young pro was only 20 years old. But he’d quickly find success on Tour, including a major accomplishment before he turned 21.
2. Matthew Wolff is already a PGA Tour winner
That’s right, he may be just past the legal limit to drink alcohol in the United States, but Wolff is already sporting a PGA Tour trophy on his mantle. In just his fourth career Tour start, and third as a pro, Wolff stormed to victory at the 3M Open in Minnesota. And he did it in dramatic fashion, sinking a 26-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole to win by one.
Wolff’s closest competitors that day? His fellow PGA Tour Class of ‘19 member and PGA Champion Collin Morikawa, and the man who starts Sunday’s final round at the U.S. Open two shots behind Wolff: Bryson DeChambeau.
3. Wolff was the 2019 NCAA champion
No, that year isn’t wrong. Wolff won the individual title at the 2019 NCAA men’s golf championship as a sophomore playing for Oklahoma State. Wolff clinched his title on May 27th. Less than two months later, he could also call himself a PGA Tour champion, joining Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw as the only players to complete those two feats in the same year.
Oh yeah, and because the 2020 NCAAs were canceled due to the coronavirus, Wolff is still the reigning NCAA champion.
4. Wolff has a very unique swing
Wolff has, hands down, one of the most unconventional swings in pro golf. As his swing coach George Gankas says, “the backswing just looks different to everybody.” It’s hard for any non-swing expert to describe, so you should just watch the slow-motion video of it below, shot this July at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
5. Wolff doesn’t have much major experience
With a PGA Tour win on his resume and the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Wolff has some serious experience with major championship golf, even without having won one. You would be wrong. This week’s U.S. Open is only Wolff’s second-career major start. In his first major, at the 2020 PGA last month, he finished T4. The winner? Morikawa, in his second major start.