Houston Open 2019 latest report and leaderboard: Lanto Griffin holds off competition to claim maiden PGA Tour title

Lanto Griffin: The 31-year-old American celebrates with the Houston Open trophy
Lanto Griffin: The 31-year-old American celebrates with the Houston Open trophy

A review of the latest action from the 2019 Houston Open.

Leaderboard

-11 Griffin

-10 Hubbard

-9 Malnati, Tringale, Hossler

-8 Straka, Cook, Gooch, Harrington, Wu, Ortiz


Final day report

Lanto Griffin carded a final round three-under 69 to win his first PGA Tour title at the Houston Open.

The 31-year-old American took a one-shot lead into the last day after a 65 on Saturday and had to fight hard during a tense back nine on Sunday, with compatriots Scott Harrington and Mark Hubbard also in the mix.

But Griffin grabbed the lead with a superb 35-foot putt on the par-three 16th for birdie, and held strong with pars on his last two holes to claim victory on 14-under.

He won by a stroke from Harrington and Hubbard, who carded 67 and 69 respectively, with compatriot Harris English sharing fourth with four others.

"This is going to be a week that I'll never, never forget - regardless what happens the rest of my career," Griffin said. "I feel very fortunate beyond words."

Scotland's Russell Knox finished in a tie for 28th at five-under after a closing 71, fellow Scot Martin Laird was tied for 42nd, England's Ben Taylor was equal-55th and Ireland's Seamus Power was equal-61st.

Day three report

Lanto Griffin
Lanto Griffin

Lanto Griffin will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Houston Open as he seeks a first PGA Tour title.

Griffin fired nine birdies and two bogeys in a third round of 65 to reach 11 under par, with Mark Hubbard on 10 under and Cameron Tringale, Beau Hossler and Peter Malnati a shot further back.

After gaining his PGA Tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour, Griffin has started the season with finishes of 13th, 11th, 17th and 18th.

"I would rather have the win, obviously, but quality of life, I would take the consistent year," the 31-year-old told the PGA Tour website. "It's tough out here when you're missing cuts and not playing well.

"Everybody goes through those spurts, but it's frustrating when you finish 60th, too, because it feels like a wasted week. Winning out here is life-changing."

Day two report

Peter Malnati shot a second-round 65 to take a one-shot lead into the final two days of the Houston Open.

The one-time PGA Tour winner relied on his trademark sharp short-game on a day of high winds which began with a suspension due to electrical activity in the Texas skies.

Malnati, playing early, managed to complete his second round on 10-under, but many in the field did not ensuring an early resumption on Saturday as organisers played catch up.

First-round co-leader Austin Cook had reached 11-under only to drop five shots before play was called for the day, leaving Talor Gooch as the closest challenger on nine-under.

Malnati told the PGA Tour that he felt the need to take advantage of this opportunity, with a child on the way later in October.

I told myself, 'Dude, this is your last tournament before you become a dad. Do something with it,'" he said.

"To make no bogeys in the conditions we played is really more than I could have ever hoped for. I played the last 13 holes wishing I had hand-warmers. The wind was certainly a two or three club wind."

Others to have completed 36 holes include Sepp Straka, the Austrian who reached eight-under, and Carlos Ortiz on seven-under.

Day one report

Talor Gooch equalled the lowest round of his career with an eight-under 64 to give him a tie of the Houston Open lead with Austin Cook.

The 27-year-old carded a career-best 10 birdies and saved par with his longest putt on the PGA Tour - more than 63 feet - to keep pace with Cook, who hit 18 greens in regulation for the first time and whose 29 going out was his lowest front-nine score.

"Any time you have double-digit birdies you're doing something right. It was a fun day," Gooch told pgatour.com.

The pair only lead by one, however, from Austrian Sepp Straka with 13 players at five under or better.

Ireland's Seamus Power was in the five-man group on 67, which also included Houston native Cole Hammer, the second-ranked amateur in the world making his regular PGA Tour debut after his 2015 US Open appearance as a 15-year-old.

Hammer is a regular at the Golf Club of Houston, playing his first round there as a 10-year-old, and used his local knowledge to shoot eight birdies, equalling Tiger Woods' best as an amateur with only Ty Tryon making more since 1996.

Former Open champion Henrik Stenson, a two-time runner-up at this tournament, is in danger of missing the cut after a level-par 72 left him eight off the lead.

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