Australia’s Griffin wins in South

Australia’s Griffin wins in South

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
Australia’s Matthew Griffin scored the biggest win of his professional career with a single stroke victory at the Charity High1 Resort Open in South Korea yesterday.

The 29-year-old led by two overnight but held his nerve in a topsy-turvy final round for an even-par 72 to give him a nine-under total of 278 and the winner’s cheque of around $178,000.

Kang Kyung-nam, who shot 68, and Park Sang-Hyun, on 71, both from South Korea, pushed Griffin all the way, to finish joint second on 279.

Kim Bi-o, winner of two events on the OneAsia circuit already this year, was a shot further back. His hopes of an unprecedented third OneAsia title on home soil came unstuck with two wayward shots on the par five 13th, although he salvaged a bogey with a breathtaking 60-foot putt.

“I am really, really thrilled,” Griffin said after his victory. “This is what I have worked for all my life, so it is absolutely amazing to finally get there.

“This is immense. It gives me a lot of security and it also repays the faith that my supporters and sponsors have shown in me over the years.” Griffin, once ranked the third-best amateur in the world, was a relative latecomer to the professional ranks and only scored his first four-round victory at the South Pacific Open in New Caledonia last year.

He is a natural left-hander who plays the game right-handed. He dedicated his victory to Peter Beck, a friend and mentor who caddied for him occasionally in his amateur and professional days, who died in 2010.

Park was left ruing his missed opportunity, saying: “Very disappointed, that’s the only thing I feel right now. I sort of think that somehow I was meant to be second in this tournament.”