Four players in the five-man playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship were happy to be there. Ben Griffin was not.
He began the final round at Country Club of Jackson with a three-shot lead. Despite a rocky day through 17 holes, Griffin still managed to have a chance to make par on the par-4 18th and get out of there with a win.
A putt just under 10 feet burned the right edge and opened the door for the extra golf. Griffin was unable to make a birdie to extend the playoff, which Luke List won with a 43-foot bomb.
A consolation is Griffin moved up to No. 51 in the FedEx Cup Fall standings. Nos. 51-60 after the RSM Classic earn their way into the first two Signature Events next year.
He finished the 2022-23 FedEx Cup season at No. 62 after an impressive rookie season. It wasn’t long ago when Griffin was working a desk job.
His first career win didn’t come, but his trajectory is rising. Griffin recorded nine top-25s last season, including T-3rd at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
The 27-year-old showed remarkable consistency for a newcomer.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel ranked 37th last season on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (.699). He was 12th in SG around-the-green (.332) and 44th in SG putting (.296).
Griffin also had a flare for the dramatic. He led the PGA Tour with 25 hole outs in 2022-23.
Griffin is making his second appearance at the Shriners Children’s Open. He posted 68-69-67-71 to take T-60th last year at TPC Summerlin.