AUSSIE golfer Matthew Griffin has spoilt the party for the locals once again, claiming the BMW ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open with a clutch birdie on the final hole of the tournament.
Starting the day two shots behind Japan’s Hideto Tanihara, the 32 year old Griffin announced his intentions with an eagle on the first hole at the Hills Golf Club in the impossibly scenic Queenstown.
With his nerves settled, Griffin went head to head with Tanihara all day but found himself one behind his competitor with three holes to play.
A clutch birdie at the last, where Tanihara made bogey, saw Griffin claim the title and his sixth win as a Professional.
Griffin fired 5-under 67 in the final round to post a winning total of 20-under 267 in front of his parents who had travelled overseas to watch him play for the first time.
“My girlfriend Liz, family and friends are here, the celebrations are going to be pretty big,” an excited Griffin said.
“It’s the first time that my parents have travelled overseas to see me play and it’s the biggest amount of people I’ve had at any event and there will be a drink out of that trophy before the night is over!”
“This is by far the biggest event I’ve won. To win the New Zealand Open, it’s got so many good names on the trophy, it’s a real step forward for me.”
Hideto (70) was disappointed to finish with a bogie at 19-under while the fast finishing Michael Hendry (65) was the top Kiwi, finishing on 14-under tied third along with Japan’s Shunsuke Sonada (68).
The PGA Tour of Australasia now heads to Toowoomba for the 2016 Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship, to be played at City Golf Club 17-20 March.NZ Open Final Results