Date: October 27, 2014

Grant Report – Griffin again on the pace

Oates Vic Open winner Matthew Griffin has continued his good form this season to finish in a tie for fourth place in the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup behind Danish winner Thorbjorn Olesen.

Griffin fired an impressive final round of five-under par 67 to finish the tournament at 11 under par and bank $63,840. West Australian Stephen Dartnall also finished on 11 under following a final round 70.

Olesen held off a last day challenge from world No. 22 Victor Dubuisson to seal victory. The 24-year old shot a one-under par 71 on Sunday for a total of 17 under the card and three shots ahead of the Frenchman.

Griffin’s performance is a continuation of his quiet progress up the rankings this year.

The Victorian pro also took a win in the Korean PGA Championship at the Sky72 Resort in Incheon near Seoul. He has won two events on the One Asia Tour and at his previous start finished 13th at the Korean Tour’s Gunsan CC Open.

His play was in stark contrast to fellow Victorian Geoff Ogilvy, one of the tournament’s major drawcard, who missed the cut by two shots after rounds of 73-72.

Ogilvy, who won on the PGA Tour this year and finished in the top 30 on the FedEx rankings after a topsy-turvy season, admitted recently that he was exhausted after an intensive Tour Championship campaign.

Olesen, the world No.130, belied his ranking to cruise to the lowest score in the tournament in three years, beating Bo Van Pelt’s 16-under in 2012.

Meanwhile, the future of the $1.6million Perth International is in limbo with its future not secured beyond this past weekend.

Talks between the European and Australasian Tours and golf promoters IMG Australia have been described by Eventscorp executive director Gwyn Dolphin as "positive", according to the West Australian.

Confirmation of the event’s future will need to be announced soon if it is to be included in next year’s golfing calendar, the paper reported.

There is a possibility it could be staged at the start of the year, meaning the next Perth International would be early in 2016.

This year’s tournament was the third at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club and attracted a strong field, including former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, former US PGA winner Jason Dufner and former US Open champion Ogilvy.

IMG’s golf director David Rollo said the event had developed a good reputation among players and sponsors.

"We’ve laid a solid foundation and I am confident we can develop this tournament into something special," Rollo said. "It is already on the golfing radar.

"In its second year we saw international television coverage jump from 1400 to 2400 hours. If we can continue to develop the level of corporate support, it will mean we can develop the tournament and attract bigger and better players."

At the tournament’s launch in 2011, then tourism minister Kim Hames said: "We have a three-year agreement for this tournament with options to continue, and our goal is to develop the Perth International into a feature event in the Asia-Pacific region that is anchored in Perth.

"Perth has a strong history of hosting successful international golf events, notably the Heineken Classic, Johnnie Walker Classic and the Lexus Cup, and this tournament will well and truly put the city back on the golfing map."

Acting Tourism Minister John Day says talks are continuing and the tournament, co-sanctioned by the European and Australian tours, had been broadcast into 473 million homes in 46 countries last year.

By: Robert Grant