Cool dude Griffin takes one-shot lead after three rounds at Houston Open

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(Reuters) – Quiet achiever Lanto Griffin describes himself as the son of hippies, and he was suitably chilled after emerging with a one-shot lead over fellow American Mark Hubbard in the third round of the Houston Open on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 13, 2018; Silvis, IL, USA; PGA golfer Lanto Griffin chips on the 17th hole during the second round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament at TPC Deere Run. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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After holing a delicate 35-foot bunker shot for birdie at the 17th hole, Griffin finished with a deflating bogey for a nonetheless impressive seven-under-par 65 at Golf Club of Houston.

Griffin has finished in the top 20 in all four events of the new PGA Tour season, without earning many headlines.

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But after posting an 11-under 205 total he will have his sights set on Sunday on a breakthrough victory in his 33rd start on tour in an event missing the game’s big names due to its unenviable spot on the schedule, ahead of a three-week Asian swing.

The 31-year-old Griffin, a Florida-based native of California, says a childhood playing a wide range of sports was a good foundation for professional golf.

“I wasn’t a golf nerd growing up,” he told reporters. “I loved baseball, loved soccer and basketball. Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at all three so I started playing golf.

“I think those three (sports) helped me with hand-eye co-ordination and athleticism.     

“Around 13 that’s when I really got into golf and I’ve been addicted every since.”

He said he was named Lanto after a spiritual master.

“I’ve never met another (Lanto), never seen one on Google either,” he said.

Hubbard shot 69 to move into second place, a stroke ahead of Peter Malnati, Cameron Tringale and Beau Hossler on a crowded leaderboard.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Daniel Wallis



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