Date: September 24, 2012
Author: Matt Griffin / Golf Australia

Matt Griffin blog: breakthrough win a big boost

Well what an exciting couple of weeks it has been. I have felt over the past couple of months that I haven t been far from breaking through and it has come to fruition. Amazingly it was in Korea of all places – a country that I have struggled to play my best golf in the past. To prepare best for the High One Open I felt it would be good to play an event the week prior and luckily we had a Jeep event on the Gold Coast at Palm Meadows and Royal Pines. My game progressed well through the week and with scores of 69,72,69 and 68, I ended up in a tie for 3rd. This was a nice confidence boost and the fact I went through the weekend without a bogey was even better. On the Sunday night I jumped on a flight from Brisbane to Korea via Hong Kong. It was a long day of travel with a 4-hour bus ride to finish off and with a solid case of the flu I was ready for a big nights sleep. This was the second time I had played at this course as we had an event there last year. I shot 3 under in the first round before bad weather struck and we couldn’t get any more golf in so I had a liking for the course. With a couple of days practice under my belt, the game felt good and I was ready to go on Thursday morning. A bogey free 67 was a great way to start and meant I was only one shot behind heading into day 2. I got off to a flyer on day 2 and was in the lead before finishing with a 2 under par 70 and an eventual tie for the lead at the halfway mark. Having missed my past 5 cuts in Korea this was almost hard to believe but it is funny how the game works. With plenty of good players around the lead I knew some great golf would be required to get the job done and on day 3 the weather would turn ugly with cold windy and showery conditions. These conditions where to my liking and at one stage I jumped to a 5 shot lead on 11 under before a couple of late bogeys and I finished on 9 under par with a 2 shot lead. It was a great spot to be in but anything can happen around the High1 course as it has really narrow fairways with long rough and a lot of water and out of bounds to catch the slightest stray shot. I woke up nervous as expected but excited about the challenge ahead. Bio Kim and Park Sang-Hyun came out all guns blazing and while I was even par through 6 I was two behind the lead. The closing stretch is extremely difficult and I found a great rhythm with my 3 wood and irons and played really steady coming home. I had the lead with 3 to play before a bogey on 16 meant a tie with 2 holes to play. 17 is a tough par 3 and I had a really good number and hit the 5 iron of my life so far to 10 feet and holed the birdie putt. The job wasn t done as 18 ranks at probably the hardest hole on the course with a really tricky slopey green. My iron shot in left me with a horrible putt up and over a tier with no room for error. I hit a great putt and only had a one-foot putt for the win. It was so exciting when it went in and for those who were watching I looked up to thank my great friend Peter Beck who did a huge amount for my career and unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. After all the craziness of the final day it is starting to sink in and it is truly exciting. This year has been really tough and at times I have doubted my ability to get back to the form I had shown a couple of years ago. This week proves I have improved from that and a big thanks must go out to those who have done so much for me along the way. Denis McDade had done so much for my golf game and I am so lucky to have one of the best coaches in the world. Denis recently was named as the PGA Coach of the year which is very well deserved with all his hard work. Scott Williams – my trainer, Dr Tina Maio and Dr Noel Blundell have also had a massive part to play in what makes up a great team. The team at Drummond, Titleist and Oakley have ensured I have the best equipment and support while a big thank you to Golf Australia s Rookie Pro program that has ensured I have been able to access the best services and events. I must not also forget all my friends and family who have been a huge support in the good and most importantly tough times. Mum and Dad especially feel every up and down and have always been there when I have needed a hand. It was also great to see my younger brother Dan play well up at Barham with a 3rd place and is making his way in the professional game. Hopefully a good couple of weeks at tour school will see him out on Tour full time. From here I look forward to a big summer and using this as a driver for future success. There is nothing like winning and I can only think this will make me work harder to ensure there are many more wins on the world stage. Next week I will defend the title I won last year the South Pacific Open in New Caledonia before heading to St Andrews to play in the Alfred Dunhill Links. It will be a great couple of weeks Matt Griffin is a former National Squad member, OneAsia winner and current member of Golf Australia&aposs Rookie Professional Program. This blog can also be found at his website Follow him on Twitter @MattGriffinGolf