Former loan officer Ben Griffin clinches first PGA TOUR card
June 12, 2022
By Kevin Prise , PGATOUR.COM
- June 12, 2022
- University of North Carolina alum Ben Griffin has crossed the fail-safe threshold to secure his first PGA TOUR card via The 25. (Design by Elise Tallent/PGA TOUR)
Ben Griffin’s grandpa was an avid golf fan, always monitoring scores across tours in local papers. Douglas Griffin lived in Hickory, North Carolina, the hometown of veteran PGA TOUR pro J.T. Poston.
“He was like, ‘I love following J.T. Poston,’” remembered Griffin. “’But I want to see more Ben Griffin.’”
Douglas Griffin passed away last July, with one line in his obituary reading, “Hit them long and straight.”
At the time, Griffin was working as a mortgage loan officer. That line struck him and was part of a series of occurrences that inspired him to pursue professional golf once again.
A few days after his grandpa passed away, Griffin flew to North Carolina to Missouri to compete in the Monday qualifier for the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper – motivated to continue to pursuit of his childhood dreams, and with the support of Highland Springs CC members whom he had previously befriended. He successfully qualified with a 6-under 65, and although he missed the cut that week, the fire returned.
Griffin carried the momentum into that fall’s Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, successfully advancing through First, Second and Final Stages to earn guaranteed starts in 2022.
He hasn’t looked back. With a runner-up finish at this week’s BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD Synnex, Griffin has crossed the fail-safe threshold of 875 points to secure his first PGA TOUR card via The 25 upon the conclusion of the Regular Season at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna in August.
It marks the fulfillment of a lifelong goal that began when Griffin was a youngster in North Carolina, born into a golf-loving family. The 26-year-old fondly recalls memories of playing with his dad and grandpa at age 6 or 7. He remembers the first time he defeated his dad for 18 holes, carding 72 to his dad’s 75 in Myrtle Beach when he was 12. He lists his dad and grandpa as part of his dream foursome.
When asked to recall memorable golf moments, he thinks to his first TOUR-sanctioned title at the 2018 Staal Foundation Open on PGA TOUR Canada, when his dad flew from North Carolina to Minneapolis and rented a car, driving 8 hours to Thunder Bay, Ontario to offer victory congratulations in-person.
Cowan Griffin once again surprised his son for the final round of the BMW Charity Pro-Am, where a top-nine finish would be enough to cross the fail-safe #TOURBound threshold. Griffin began Sunday in second place and carded 5-under 66 at Thornblade Club, enough for a playoff with Robby Shelton.
Shelton won with a par on the second playoff hole, but Griffin and several family members and friends were able to rejoice nonetheless.
Plenty of goals and dreams remain, but one is for sure. Griffin has secured a PGA TOUR card for the 2022-23 season.
“Just really going back to what my dad always taught me, having a positive attitude and doing my best,” reflected Griffin of a key to recent success. “Really processing my thoughts and trying to get negativity and fear out of there … and replacing that with more courage and more belief, is really the key.”
Next season, he’ll channel that mentality at the highest level.