Matteson looking for big finish to his 2011 season


SAN MARTIN, Calif. – It's safe to say Troy Matteson likes the Open. Both of his PGA Tour wins have come in this event, albeit at desert venues. The confidence from his history in this event may turn out to buoy a season plagued by missed opportunities.

Matteson shot 3-under 68 in the wet, cold opening round of the Open at CordeValle. He's one shot off joint leaders Brendan Steele and Briny Baird

Starting the round on the 10th, not much happened for Matteson until he rinsed his tee shot at the short par-4 17th. The dropped shot focused Matteson for the final ten holes, leading to three birdies and seven pars.

'I didn't start off too hot and really didn't get much going and hit a bad one at 17. But after that I just kind of was patient, just kept waiting for our putts and we finally got two good looks at it coming in,' he said.

Matteson said rain and temperatures are making the course play even longer than the 7,368 yards on the scorecard. On top of that, the putting surfaces are tricky and leave little margin for error.

'The greens are difficult. There's a lot of putts you misread by a ball or two and that makes a huge difference out here, and it's tough because you play on both sides of the creek in this valley, and really, there's no one direction that all the putts go, so you really gotta be on your game when you're reading them,' he said.

Looking to end the season on a high note, Matteson hopes his final event proves to be the reliable paycheck and confidence booster it has been in years past.

'I haven't put it together this year and it's just been one shot here, one shot there or maybe a bad round on Sunday, and it could have been a very different year. But this is going to be my last tournament this year, so hopefully this is a big one.'