Emiliano Grillo burst onto the PGA TOUR scene in 2015. In March of that year, the Argentinian finished runner-up in the Puerto Rico Open. It was his third career TOUR start, and not coincidentally, the same event he had played twice before. Opposite the Open that July, he scored another top-ten finish at the Barbasol Championship.
Then, in just his eighth career PGA TOUR event, Grillo headed to Silverado for the first event of the 2015-16 season. Matching Kevin Na nearly shot for shot, the rookie forced a playoff on Sunday afternoon, then dispatched of Na in two holes.
It would prove to be Grillo’s only top-ten of that regular season, but it was a rookie campaign anybody would be jealous of. Ten top-25s including three majors, an Olympic berth (he would tie for eighth in Rio) and a trip to the TOUR Championship, spurred on by a runner-up finish at The Barclays.
Frankly, there was no way that Grillo’s 2016-17 season could have lived up to such lofty expectations, but he still acquitted himself well, making it to the BMW Championship despite a huge second-half slump.
Grillo was at the unfortunate end of a 6&4 beating by Rickie Fowler in Sunday’s Presidents Cup finale, but by that time, the match was irrelevant.
Statistically, Grillo’s putting will hold him back more often than not, but Silverado is noted for being one of the most fair tests on TOUR, likely due in part to its placement as the season opener. I like Grillo to bounce back and enjoy a strong week in wine country.