NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lanto Griffin won the Nashville Golf Open on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title, waiting out two rain delays and outlasting Abraham Ancer in overtime.
Griffin won with an 18-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff — the par-3 10th. He became the first Web.com Tour player to win after making the cut on the number since Justin Bolli in the 2004 Chattanooga Classic. The 29-year-old former Virginia Commonwealth matched the course record Saturday with a 10-under 62.
“About as surprised as you guys are,” Griffin said. “Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it’s just your week. I got a lot of good breaks yesterday. I think I played the front in 1 under on Friday to make the cut on the number. I was more nervous on the putt on Friday to make the cut than I was on any putt today. That’s the truth. To make the cut on the number and win, that’s kind of a dream come true.”
Griffin closed with a 68 to match Ancer (67) at 16-under 272 at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club. Taylor Moore (66) and Guillermo Pereira (67) tied for third at 15 under.
Griffin earned $99,000 to jump from 135th to 21st on the money list with $110,651, with the final top 25 earning PGA Tour cards. He wrapped up exempt status on the Web.com Tour through next season.
“It’s not going to sink in for a while, but I didn’t know if I could win on the Web,” Griffin said. “I haven’t always been the nicest to myself. I know I can play at least on this tour next year, so the rest of the year is going to be a blast.”
When the horn blew the second time to suspend play, Griffin was a shot out of the lead and hoping the rules staff would call the tournament and he’d tie for second — where he’d entered the day.
“I didn’t want to go back out. Not one bit of me wanted to go back out,” Griffin said. “I wanted them to call it, and I wanted tie second. That would have put me close to having my spot in the Web Finals. Not that I was scared to go back out, but there are so many good players and there was a five-way tie for the lead. I was one back at the time, and there were five guys tied with me. So who wouldn’t?”
Coming off a bogey on No. 10, he returned to his waiting shot in the 11th fairway, and birdied the hole and Nos. 13, 14, and 15 to take sole possession of the lead. He blocked his tee shot into the right trees at the 16th, but escaped with an 8-iron to 15 feet and saved par.
“The shot that won me the tournament was the shot on 16 out of the trees. I could have made any number there and that will be the best shot I’ve ever hit hands down,” Griffin said. “I had to go under the first branches and then over, but I had a branch in my back swing so I had to choke up … and it was 180 (yards) so I hit an 8-iron. I would have been happy if it came up 50 yards short and in the rough. That thing came out just barely under and it went right through this little ‘v’ and right at the flag. It was lucky, but it was 100 percent the best shot I’ve ever hit.”
Ancer birdied four of the last six holes in regulation. He made $59,400 to go from 23rd to 11th on the money list with $160,862.
Conrad Shindler, the leader after each of the first three rounds, had a 75 to drop into a tie for 25th at 10 under. He set the course record with a 62 on Thursday.