Australian Matthew Griffin has claimed the BMW ISPS HANDANew Zealand Open with a clutch birdie on the final hole of the tournament.
Starting the day two shots behind Japan's Hideto Tanihara,Matt Griffin opened his final round by eagling the first.
With his nerves settled Griffin went head to head withTanihara all day but found himself one behind his competitor with three holesto play.
A clutch birdie at the last, where Tanihara made bogey, sawGriffin claim the title and his sixth win as a Professional.
Griffin fired 5-under 67 in the final round to post awinning total of 20-under 267 in front of his parents who had travelledoverseas to watch him play for the first time.
Disappointed to have ended his campaign with a bogey wasHideto Tanihara but overall he enjoyed his first trip to Queenstown.
Finishing tied for third and six shots off the lead wasleading New Zealander Michael Hendry and Japan's Shunsuke Sonoda.
Yoshinori Fujimoto (JPN) finished outright 5th on13-under 274 with Steven Alker (NZL) a further shot back.
Rounding out the top-10 on 11-under the card are AustraliansDeyen Lawson, Todd Sinnott, Matthew Giles and Rory Bourke.
Taking out the pro-am component of the BMW ISPS HANDA NewZealand Open were Deyen Lawson and his amateur partner Anton Booy. Lawson picksup a bonus NZ$12,000 for his team's effort.
From Queenstown the PGA Tour of Australasia will travel back to Australian for the Coca-Cola Queensland PGAChampionship to be played at City Golf Club, Toowoomba from the 17-20 March.
Matthew Griffin, 70,65, 65, 67, 20-under 267, champion
"I just hit driver and hit it harddown the right. I thought I hit it on the perfect line, it gave a right kickand it must have snuck down. In the end I had the perfect yardage; I hit awedge to a nice close range, long enough to still miss, so it was nice to rollit in. With Tanihara it was a bit unfortunate as his drive just rolled over andwent into the rough."
"It was the most nervous I'vebeen, I did a lot of deep breathing on the green and it was a nice putt."
"You're always nervous on thefirst tee, I hit a couple of shots in close and it really settled the nerves."
"I took on 16 and 17 as I knew I was behindand hit good spots but came up with pars – the last was a great way to finish."
"My girlfriend Liz, family andfriends are here, the celebrations are going to be pretty big. It's the firsttime that my parents have travelled overseas to see me play and it's thebiggest amount of people I've had at any event and there will be a drink out ofthat trophy before the night is over!"
"This is by far the biggest event I've won. To win the NewZealand Open, it's got so many good names on the trophy, it's a real stepforward for me."
Hideto Tanihara, 69,66, 63, 70, 19-under 268, runner-up
"When it went in the bunker Ithought it would be ok. I wasn't particularly worried and it wasn't a shock."
"However, the last putt I had Ithought it was going to go and I just came up a bit too short which was ashame."
"That's the way that golf goes,there are many good players here out of 144 only one can win. I would like totry the same challenge again in the future."
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