Matthew Griffin won the New Zealand Open in 2016 when he defeated Japan’s Hideto Tanihara in a dramatic final-hole battle. Griffin’s birdie to Tanihara’s bogey landed him the win by one shot.
The Melbourne-based golfer turned professional at 25 after representing Australia at the Eisenhower Trophy and gaining a degree in accountancy.
Now a regular on the Japan Golf Tour, Griffin has also played with success on the OneAsia, Korean and Australasian Tours, winning seven titles in total. Still, his victory at the New Zealand Open remains his most significant.
“The New Zealand Open is always one of my favourite weeks of the year, and being unable to play the last two years has been really frustrating.”
“Playing events that you have won in the past always fills you with great memories, and I can’t wait to be back this year.”
Griffin ended 2019 on a high playing the JT Cup) the season-ending event on the Japanese Tour) and Griffin completed what he considers his most consistent year.
“I was excited for what was to follow the 2019 season, and then everything stopped with Covid. 2021 was a stop-start year, and then last year, I couldn’t build any momentum.
“I have been practicing hard through the last couple of years and hope to return to that pre-Covid form soon.
Looking back on his victory at the New Zealand Open, Griffin has fond memories of the win and the people he had around him.
“In 2016, I had my now wife, parents and friends at the tournament, which made winning extra special.”
“My manager had a tour group in Queenstown and brought a bottle of Grange with him in case one of his players won. We drank that from the trophy and had a big party with around 30 people.”