Ben Griffin may only be four years old on the beginner’s PGA Tour season, but he’s already learning valuable lessons.
This one was particularly difficult.
“You can’t give up on the PGA Tour event,” Griffin said Sunday after failing to turn his nine-man lead into his first-ever Tour title. “I think I’m about to feel very comfortable.”
The 26-year-old Griffin had just flew two straight holes and led the Butterfield Bermuda Championship with a pair of shots while stepping on a tee box at Port Royal Golf Club’s par-4 12The tenth Gap. The loose tee shot kicked off what would be an extension of the 6-point close-up:
• Missed equal short shots, No. 12 and 13.
• He installed the tee ball in the penalty area at No. 14, and cheated that hole as well.
• After a fourth straight bogey at #15, Griffin drags his tee onto the cliff par-3 16The tenth Hole, resulting in a double bogey.
• Ironing on the bar 5 17The tenth Just to make his ball pass through the lane and into another penalty area.
“These are some of the toughest holes to come down along a stretch, especially trying to win a PGA Tour event,” Griffin said afterwards. I did my best. I got a few shots in the wind and you have to be a little better, more accurate when it’s windy like that or else you can kind of grind for pars and bogeys fast. It got to me. I couldn’t believe a point shot My tee at 16, I managed to draw it as much as I did against that wind left to right….obviously at 17, trying to hit a shot that wouldn’t hit the water, I never really thought about it with my club In my hand unfortunately I fell into the water there.
“Otherwise, I spoke to my caddy, and I said, ‘You know, I might have played another [five holes in] 6 up, but if I finish Eagle Birdy, I can win this golf course. So, I tried to keep sticking to my game plan, implementing it on the 17th and 18th, and unfortunately, I was only able to make pars.”
Griffin finished shooting 1-on 72 and returned to tie for third, two shots behind winner Seamus Power. Despite a late crash, Griffin still posted the best finish of his career on the Tour, topping a solo fourth-place finish from Wyndham last season — and that’s just over a year since the former North Carolina First American retired from Competitive golf practice. Four months of working as a mortgage loan officer.
Full field scores from the Butterfield Bermuda Championship
When Griffin returned to golf two days ago, he had no standing. He got his Korn Ferry Tour card through Q-School last year and tapped that into the PGA Tour card in just one season on KFT. That’s why it was hard to make a real complaint on Sunday.
Griffin knows he did quite a few committed swings on Sunday. He has put himself in many difficult spots below his stretch. His racket was pretty shaky in the last two rounds.
But he’s also learning, and somehow, given his journey, he’s happy to have a rival.
“You know, playing golf for a living is really fun,” said Griffin. “It just means that the world is competitive here, and I can’t get mad at anything I do because it’s great to be able to play on the PGA Tour.”
Plus, while he may not be today’s PGA Tour champion, he’s confident: “I know my time will come soon.”