Date: February 23, 2014
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Griffin takes out Men’s Oates Vic Open on third playoff hole

History was made at the 2014 Oates Victorian Open tonight after Matthew Griffin successfully endured a three-hole playoff to secure his first professional PGA Tour of Australasia title on home soil.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride when playing off in his home country, his continental drought came to an end in emphatic form with spectators left watching with excitement on the edge of each bunker.

The 30-year-old Victorian received a pat on the back from 2013 women’s champion Stacey Keating when describing the victory as “incredible”.

“It was incredible now that I look back on the tension there in that play off. Matt (Stieger) was playing really well and it was going both ways, really,” said Griffin.

“It was awesome to get over the line and with that bunker shot, it probably ended up as six (or seven) footer and sliding across the slope, so I was glad it squeezed in”.

The pair initially tied for seven under par, following Day 3 leader Brett Drewitt (-6) while Day 2 leader Terry Pilkadaris tied for 4th with Andrew Kelly (each on -4).

Griffin was never a certainty for the title with many spectators highlighting his putting efforts on the 17th hole which enable him the joint lead.

“The two young guys were really fantastic, they didn’t make a mistake, so I really had to play some good golf to eventually get in front and get that trophy” said Griffin.

As a result of the title, Griffin will enjoy $150,000 in prize money thanks to a number of sponsors behind the 2014 Oates Victorian Open.

However the lightly built athlete instead focussed on joining his idols when looking at his new addition to the trophy cabinet.
“My childhood hero Greg Norman’s on there, so it’s nice to put your name on the same trophy as a great and there’s so many other amazing players on there, Peter Thompson is incredible”, Griffin smiled.

Phoenix based Queenslander Raymond Beaufils impressed early hitting seven under par for the day, finishing off the tournament tied for fourth (at -3) while South Australian Adam Bland followed close by; shooting under six this morning.

“I was running low on confidence this week but this round I guess I played conservative golf, no blemishes”, reflected Beaufils.

The 25-year-old continued, “I’ve been lazy in Scottsdale because it’s only a forty minute drive to the events so this year I’d like to travel around and hit some more shots”.

Former tournament winners Paul Sheehan (2011) and Matthew Giles (2013) would be cut from the group in the first round while Gareth Paddison, the last International winner from 2004, finished in the bottom two overall (+10).

However it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the remaining trophy keepers after Jason Norris recorded four consecutive birdies this morning.

“My week wasn’t great but the course was superb, to finish on a high today was very nice”, said Norris.

Men’s Amateurs:

Par Anthony Murdaca (South Australia), +2 Ben Eccles (Victoria), +3 Geoff Drakeford (Victoria), +4 Jordan Cooper (Victoria), +5 Brett Coletta (Victoria).

Men’s Internationals:
-2 Pieter Zwart (New Zealand), +1 David Klein (New Zealand), +7 Mahal Pearce (New Zealand), +10 Gareth Paddison (New Zealand), +13 Takuya Taniguchi (Japan).

By: Alex Tigani (Golf Victoria Contributor)