Australian Matthew Griffin won his second OneAsia title in less than a year when the final round of the SK Telecom Open was called off without a shot being played because of thick fog at Pinx Golf Club on Korea’s Jeju Island.
Griffin can credit a spectacular 40 foot putt from off the back of the 18th green on Saturday for the win, as it meant he held a one-shot lead over Korean veteran Kang Wook-soon at the end of three rounds.
The tournament ended in similar circumstances in 2011 when Kurt Barnes was declared the winner after fog prevented any play in the final round.
Built on a plateaux, Pinx Golf Club is prone to rolling fog from the extinct Mount Halla volcano, but the weather had been perfect for two rounds — albeit damp and windy for the third.
“It’s unfortunate to finish like this, but I’ll take it,” said Griffin, 29, who banked 200,000 won (around U.S. $180,000) for the win and leapt to the top of the OneAsia Order of Merit with earnings of over $233,000 for the season.
“I thought my final putt yesterday was big as it gave me the lead, but I didn’t think it would be the winning putt. It just goes to show you really must try and make everything.”
Griffin recorded rounds of 64, 67 and 72 for a 13-under par aggregate of 203 around the 6,732 metre (7,361 yard) course — one better than Kang and four ahead of China’s Hu Mu and Koreans Lee Ki-sang and Park Do-kyu.
The 29-year-old from Melbourne has developed a liking for Korea after winning OneAsia’s Charity High1 Resort Open in September — his second professional title following victory at the South Pacific Open Golf Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia a year earlier.
“High1 was fantastic but this feels even better,” said Griffin. “I never really played well in Korea in the past — which is surprising because I think the courses suit me — but it looks like I’ve found my way here now.”
Griffin has taken up membership of the Korean Tour and will stay to play next week’s Happiness Kwangju Bank Open before heading to the United States in a bid to qualify for the U.S. Open.