Griffin wins fog-bound SK Telecom Open
Victorian Matthew Griffin’s spectacular 40-foot putt from off the back of the 18th green on Saturday proved critical, after he was declared the winner of the US$900,000 SK Telecom Open when the final round was cancelled due to thick fog that engulfed the Pinx Golf Club on Korea’s Jeju Island.
The putt earned Griffin his second OneAsia victory in less than twelve months and mirrored the circumstances of 2011, where compatriot Kurt Barnes was declared the champion when the final round was also abandoned due to fog.
29-year old Griffin won by a shot over Korean veteran Kang Wook-soon, continuing the spate of Australian winners around the world since Adam Scott’s Masters win and provides him with an enormous confidence boost for his trip to America in a few weeks to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.
“It’s unfortunate to finish like this, but I’ll take it,” said Griffin, 29, who earned approximately US$180,000 for the win and leapt to the top of the OneAsia Order of Merit with earnings of over $233,000 for the season.
“I thought my final putt yesterday was big as it gave me the lead, but I didn’t think it would be the winning putt. It just goes to show you really must try and make everything.”
Griffin recorded rounds of 64, 67 and 72 for a 13-under par aggregate of 203 , one better than Kang and four ahead of China’s Hu Mu and Koreans Lee Ki-sang and Park Do-kyu.
Matt Griffin holds the winner’s trophy after the final round of the SK Telecom Open was cancelled due to fog (Credit: Paul Lakatos/OneAsia)
It was Griffin’s second victory in Korea after winning OneAsia’s Charity High1 Resort Open last September.
“High1 was fantastic but this feels even better,” said Griffin.
“I’ve never really played well in Korea in the past – which is surprising because I think the courses suit me – but it looks like I’ve found my way here now.”
The next best Australian was Jason Norris in a tie for 10th alongside Kiwi Michael Long and K.J. Choi, with Andre Stolz and David McKenzie among a group a shot further back in a tie for 16th.