Matthew Wolff Profile
|Born||Apr 14, 1999|
|Birthplace||Simi Valley, California, United States|
Matthew Wolff has obliterated the rule book of golf with his highly unorthodox swing - it's a swing which saw the American win his first PGA Tour event at the 3M Open in 2019.
Matthew Wolff has quickly established himself as one of the brightest young stars on the PGA Tour.
Wolff won his first PGA Tour event just one month after turning professional and has been a serious contender for Majors on more than one occasion since.
After making his breakthrough in 2019, Wolff underwent some remedial work on his swing to generate more power off the tee, with the hope of being able to compete with the growing number of power players on the PGA Tour. He still employs an unconventional style off the tee, using a left leg kick to create more rotation and generate more power on his backswing.
Wolff attended Oklahoma State University, following in the footsteps of fellow Californian Rickie Fowler.
Technically sound and athletically gifted, Wolff is an example of the new breed of golfer being produced by a collegiate system that is advancing at a rate of knots.
After a decorated freshman year and a terrific start to his sophomore year, Wolff decided it was time for him to step up to the next level and turn professional.
Things have gone Wolff's way so far, from getting that first win early in his career to reaching his season peak in 2020 just in time to be a contender for the Majors.
As time moves on, it will be interesting to see if he has the mental strength to maintain a long and successful career in a sport as demanding as professional golf.
Where it all started
Wolff grew up in Southern California and first took up golf as a young boy when attending a sports summer camp.
He went to Westlake High School and was among the stars of the school's golfing program.
Wolff had agreed to attend the University of Southern California but changed his mind when he was approached by Oklahoma State. A visit to the OSU campus in Stillwater swayed Wolff, who also entertained offers from Oregon, Florida, Texas, Stanford and Wake Forest.
In his senior year of high school, Wolff was ranked number four in the nation among juniors, which was the basis of the mad scramble to secure him as a member of an elite collegiate unit. He finished runner-up in the 2017 US Junior Amateur Golf Championship.
Wolff won the Phil Mickelson Award for the outstanding freshman in the United States and earned first-team All-American honors. He also showed nerves of steel when draining the putt that won OSU the 2018 NCAA Division I Championship.
The start to his sophomore year would be key in getting Wolff on the PGA Tour. He won back-to-back events at the Carmel Cup and the OFCC Fighting Illini Invitational to start the 2018/19 season in winning fashion.
His early collegiate performances and fine form would see him granted a sponsor exemption to join the Tour and Wolff took this as a sign it was time to turn professional.
In 2019, Wolff won the Amer Ari Invitational, Valspar Collegiate and the NCAA Division I individual championship.
After two seasons, Wolff left the Cowboys to go it alone on the big bad PGA Tour.
Turning pro and the taste for Major honours
Wolff was handed a sponsor exemption for the 2019 Travelers Championship, where he made his professional debut. He made the cut, but finished in a tie for 80th place.
He missed the cut the following week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic despite carding a second-round 68 to recover from a 3-over 75 on the opening day.
In just his third career PGA Tour event, Wolff produced a stupendous four-round performance at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. Here, Wolff carded a 21-under 263 at a low-scoring tournament to win by one stroke from Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau. Things went down to the final hole where Wolff matched an eagle sunk by DeChambeau, who was in the group ahead of both Wolff and Morikawa.
This 3M Open triumph ensured Wolff's place on the PGA Tour was secure for the next two years and also made him only the third man to win an NCAA title and PGA Tour event in the same calendar year.
Wolff made the cut in the remaining four events he entered in the 2018/19 season, with his best performance being a top-20 finish at the Wyndham Championship. Wolff also made the cut at the first seven events he entered in his first full season on the PGA Tour.
He had to wait over a year after turning professional to play in his first Major though, with the 2020 season severely disrupted by COVID-19. His first Major was the PGA Championship, which was held in August. Here, he was part of a seven-way final round tie in the race to lift the Wanamaker Trophy, but ended up finishing three strokes behind the winner, Morikawa. His top-four finish was enough to secure him a place in the 2021 Masters field though.
At the rescheduled US Open six weeks later, Wolff held a two-stroke lead going into the final round, having been the form player of the first three days. His final day would let him down though as he carded a 5-over 75. This saw him finish second, six strokes behind winner DeChambeau.
He lost in a playoff to Martin Laird at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, earning his second consecutive runner-up spot in his first entry after the US Open disappointment. After a second round nightmare in Augusta, Wolff missed the cut at the Masters.
Matthew Wolff's personal life
Born into a Jewish family, Wolff converted to Christianity while attending OSU. During his time at the university, he also met his current girlfriend, Kim Lloyd. He was part of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) in Stillwater.
He has an older brother Eli, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 and reportedly played a big part in helping the fledgling pro relocate to the golfing mecca of Jupiter, Florida.
His newfound faith has become central to his life and worldview, and Wolff has joined the PGA Tour Bible study.
Matthew Wolff's net worth
Wolff secured an equipment deal almost immediately after turning professional and has been active in promoting TaylorMade through videos on social media.
With his career still in its infancy, Wolff's net worth is difficult to establish with any accuracy but it has been estimated at $1.5 million.
In November 2020, Wolff became the first golfer to be awarded an endorsement deal with Gatorade since Tiger Woods. He also has commercial relationships with Nike and Perficient.