Last year Matteson waited until September to get hotter than August.
It all started with a T8 in Mississippi at an event now known as the Viking Classic. Then it was on to Greensboro and a T6 finish. That was followed by his first PGA TOUR victory at the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas which was followed by a T2 at Disney World which was followed by a T9 at the Chrysler Championship.
After Mississippi and Greensboro Matteson jumped up to No. 143 on the money list. The win at Vegas exempted him through the end of 2008 and propelled him to a 36th place finish on the money list.
There were a lot of things riding, Matteson said after earning $720,000 for shooting a Sunday 69 and edging Ben Crane and Daniel Chopra by one shot at the TPC Summerlin. Not just my job.
Also hanging in the balance was Mattesons confidence in himself. He had led the Nationwide Tour in earnings in 2005. But it wasnt until his late rally last year that he fully established himself in his own mind and in the eyes of his peers.
Matteson returns to defend his Las Vegas title this week fresh from a month long break after tying for 47th at the BMW Championship near Chicago.
In July he tied for third at the John Deere Classic after an enforced four-week layoff caused by injuries. Muscle stuff, said the relatively unconcerned Matteson of the ailments that necessitated seven cortisone injections. Im still a young guy.
But his only other top 10s in 2007 have been a T3 at the AT&T Classic in May and a T9 at the DeutscheBank Championship the week before the BMW.
Through the Viking Classic Matteson ranked 65th on the money list which is not bad, really, when you consider he ranked 133d in driving accuracy and 153d in final scoring average.
There is a clich about people arriving in Las Vegas looking for their luck to change. Troy Matteson falls into that category although hes certainly nobodys idea of a charity case.
And like the man said, hes still a young guy. Matteson is still only 27 years old and could easily be mistaken on the street for a younger version of Ron Howard, the movie director.
There was a lot of pressure, Matteson said after holding off Crane and Chopra Sunday at Summerlin last year.
Now the pressure will be more squarely on the shoulders of the players looking to secure their TOUR cards for 2008. The Frys.com Open is the fourth of seven Fall Series events that serve as the money-list conclusion to the official TOUR season.