Justin Hueber finishes second, one shot back-
Orlando, Fla.– January 10, 2013 – After two years of near-misses and heartache, Lanto Griffin is finally a winner on the Bridgestone Winter Series.
The former Virginia Commonwealth University standout fired a final-round 65 on Thursday to best Justin Hueber by one stroke on the Grand Cypress – New Course to claim his first NGA TOUR victory.
“This is my first win, and it feels great,” said Griffin, who earned $9,975. “I’ve came close a lot of times. I’ve coughed it up a couple times and been unlucky a couple of times. I’ve had some 40-foot putts beat me and some chip-ins, so to finally get a win makes me feel relieved.”
After starting the day T5, Griffin of Blacksburg, Va., wasted little time moving up the leaderboard. The former Ram birdied the opening hole, eagled the second and added another eagle on No. 6 to reach 5 under for the day and 17-under par for the tournament.
“I knew after that second eagle that I was close to the lead,” said Griffin. “My goal was 20 under for the tournament, so I didn’t change my game plan at all.”
After the torrid start, Griffin played the next nine holes at even par and found himself looking up at Hueber, who shot a final-round 63 to take the lead in the clubhouse at 18-under par. But Griffin always believed his first win would be in come-from-behind fashion, and his thoughts proved correct.
Griffin racked up birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to reach 7 under for the day and 19-under par for the tournament, giving him the clubhouse lead.
“I wasn’t sure it was going to be enough, but I heard that the last group wasn’t playing great,” said Griffin. “I’ve come so close so many times; I wasn’t going to think I won until I knew for sure.”
“This win means everything to my confidence,” said Griffin, who finished with rounds of 66-66-65. “I work hard in the gym and the range and it’s nice to finally get win. You consistently fail at golf; it’s not like other sports. You’re playing hundreds of guys, so to beat everyone is very motivating. It makes me want to get better.”
While Hueber of Fort Wayne, Ind., came up one shot shy of forcing a playoff, the University of Indiana alumnus’ runner-up showing was a career-best effort in 59 starts on the NGA Pro Golf Tour. Hueber finished with rounds of 65-70-63 for an 18-under 198 total and earned $5,226 for the second-place finish.
Robert Rohanna of Naples, Fla., finished third at 17-under par after posting rounds of 68-64-67. The podium finish was also a career-best for the Penn State alumnus and netted the former Nittany Lion $4,660.
For full-field scores, click here.
The NGA TOUR would like thank the staff at Grand Cypress and all the players for a great event. The Bridgestone Winter Series will return to action next week at the RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.
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