Lanto Griffin likes to play a lot when on the PGA Tour. In 2017-2018 he teed it up in 26 events, and so far in 2019-2020 he’s played every week. The difference is, now Griffin is playing well. After four top-20 finishes to start the season, Griffin dropped a 33-foot birdie bomb on the par-3 16th hole then parred in – including a clutch six-foot comeback putt at the last – to gain his first PGA Tour win at the Houston Open.
The putter Griffin used to make that putt has an interesting history. In April during Masters week Griffin was playing a round at TPC Sawgrass with an old high school friend when Griffin gave his mate’s putter a try on the practice green. Griffin, who was struggling with his stroke at the time, started making putts.
According to a story on Roanoke.com, Griffin said, “It immediately felt good. We played nine holes and I was making everything. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t think you’re getting this one back.’ He was like, ‘Take it.’”
SIK putters feature a “descending loft technology” where the loft changes on the face to accommodate the tendency of golfers to forward press and de-loft the club during the stroke, changing where the putt is struck on the face. For the week Griffin ranked seventh in strokes gained/putting. Griffin’s work on the greens was almost a necessity for while he averaged a strong 285.1 metres (311.8 yards) off the tee, he ranked a mediocre 54th in greens in regulation, an almost unheard of number for a tour winner. Griffin also ranked first in putts per green in regulation.
Which led to first on the leaderboard – with a little help from an old friend.
What Lanto Griffin had in the bag at the Houston Open:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Tiltiest 917D2 (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi 70), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TS2, 16.5 degrees
Irons (2): Titleist U510; (4-9): Titleist T100; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM7
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: SIK Flo