In a dramatic last hole finish Matt Griffen snatched victory at the New Zealand Open at The Hills Club in Queenstown.
Matt, from Australia won the New Zealand Open with a final round -5 under par 67 for a -20 under par winning total. It was not won until the final hole when Matt birdied and Hideto Tanihara made bogey;
“I just hit driver and hit it hard down the right. I thought I hit it on the perfect line, it gave a right kick and it must have snuck down. In the end I had the perfect yardage.”
“I hit a wedge to a nice close range, long enough to still miss, so it was nice to roll it in. With Tanihara it was a bit unfortunate as his drive just rolled over and went into the rough.”
“It was the most nervous I’ve been, I did a lot of deep breathing on the green and it was a nice putt.”
“I took on 16 and 17 as I knew I was behind and hit good spots but came up with pars, the last was a great way to finish.”
“My girlfriend Liz, family and friends are here, the celebrations are going to be pretty big. 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 Tanihara, from Japan was so close to winning this tournament, but had to settle for second place at -19 under par, a last round -2 under 70 denting his ambitions;
“When it went in the bunker I thought it would be ok. I wasn’t particularly worried and it wasn’t a shock.”
“However, the last putt I had I thought it was going to go in and I just came up a bit too short, which was a shame.”
“That’s the way that golf goes, there are many good players here out of 144 only one can win. I would like to try the same challenge again in the future.”
Kiwi Michael Hendry, with a great -7 under par 65 today was the best placed NZ player, he and Japan’s Shunsuke Sonoda -4 under 68, finished it a tie for third place at -14 under par.