15 Mar 2016

Griffin wins NZ Open

10:28 am on 15 March 2016

The Australian golfer Matthew Griffin has won the New Zealand Open at The Hills in Queenstown.

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a dramatic finish, Griffin birdied the 72nd hole to defeat his playing partner, Hideto Tanihara, by a stroke.

Auckland's Michael Hendry tied for third with Japan's Shunsuke Sonoda.

Griffin was locked in a two horse race with Japan's Tanihara, after the Victorian eagled the first hole of their final round to tie the lead.

The players were level at 19 under for the tournament when they reached the turn, six strokes clear of the chasing pack.

Tanihara took a one stroke lead into the final hole, but bogied the last after finding the rough with his drive and the green side bunker with his approach.

Griffin dropped his approach within 10 feet of the 18th pin, before cooly draining the putt to claim his first tournament victory on the Australasian tour and a cheque for NZ$180,000.

A seven under 65 from Hendry on Sunday moved him to 14 under for tournament six strokes behind the winner.

One shot back was Japan's Yoshinori Fujimoto in fifth, a stroke clear of Hamilton's Steven Alker, who's fourth round 70 gave him 6th place.