Lanto Griffin made it through his first 31 holes in his U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Monday without a bogey, helping him build a big cushion that came in handy over his last five holes.
The Blacksburg High and VCU grad finished with three bogeys, a par and a birdie, which was good enough to claim one of 11 available spots available for the Open, which begins June 14, at Shinnecock Hills in New York. It will be Griffin’s first Open.
“One of my childhood dreams was always to play in a U.S. Open,” Griffin said in a phone interview Monday night with The Roanoke Times. “I played great today and I got it done! It’s setting up to be a great week since I will be turning 30 years old that week [birthday is June 15] at Shinnecock. I can’t wait to tee it up in our nation’s championship.”
Griffin had rounds of 65 and 69 at Ridway and Colonial country clubs in Memphis, Tennessee. He finished tied for fourth at minus-9, one shot behind regular PGA Tour members Mackenzie Hughes and Steve Stricker, and six behind sectional winner Sam Burns.