Shriners Children's Open

Friday, October 13, 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Lanto Griffin

Quick Quotes

Q. Great playing, another solid round for you. Just an opening comment on the round.

LANTO GRIFFIN: Yeah, got off to a slow start. The back nine is kind of where you want to get it on this course, and the goal today was to get a couple under. Anytime you shoot a good first round, you want to get one or two early and then it settles you down and you can keep pushing. That didn't happen today, but I made a really good birdie on 16 and 18 to kind of settle me into the round and then birdied 1, 2, 3, 4 to turn, and then it was just kind of just get in a groove and ride it.

A little frustrating not to birdie No. 9 and two par-5s, but I would have been extremely happy with 5-under to start the day. Yeah, two more days, and I like where I'm at.

Q. You said you felt good last week at Sanderson Farms and carrying that over into this week. Was it something you found in your swing or just body, health-wise?

LANTO GRIFFIN: The swing doesn't feel that great, to be honest with you. The putter last week in Sanderson, Scott Hamilton on Wednesday, I've been working with him for a few months, just told me my posture was way off. So on Wednesday we changed that, stood further away from it, got my eyes more over it. They were outside the ball.

It was kind of a light switch to where it went from I couldn't see my line, couldn't feel the speed to feeling like I was going to make everything.

I've made a lot of putts since then.

It's amazing what a hot putter will do. It makes the rest of the game -- takes a lot of pressure off. You don't need to hit it to five feet -- well, some weeks this summer I felt like I needed to hit it to two feet to make it. It's nice seeing those 10- to 20-footers go in, and that takes a lot of heat off the rest of the game.

Q. This is your 16th start this year; could you walk us through the back surgery and the rib injury that you've been dealing with over the last couple years?

LANTO GRIFFIN: Yeah, so I had back surgery July 25th of '22, double herniated disc, similar to what Will Zalatoris is going through.

I took off until Torrey, probably came back too early, looking back on it. At the time I felt ready.

So it was kind of battling those first few months on the West Coast, and Florida was just a lot of inflammation after rounds, feeling tight.

Then at Riviera, the second day at Tiger's tournament I fractured a rib in my chest and pulled a muscle in my back, so I was out about six weeks after that.

That set me back probably more than the back just because it was unexpected. I was kind of climbing up the hill and got pushed off.

This summer was okay. Body felt okay. I wasn't really able to swing the way I wanted to. My pelvis and everything.

The last month I've changed my diet a little bit, changed some stuff in the gym, and kind of a little bit of a light switch to where I could feel my age again and not feeling like I should be on the Champions Tour.

It's never good when it hurts to get out of bed in the morning before a round and it takes an hour and a half to get warmed up.

The last month, especially last week, it was real positive being able to feel -- think about the golf swing a little bit more than the body.

Q. I'm sure it feels good to feel good again; is playing well just a bonus at this point?

LANTO GRIFFIN: Not really. I need to play well. Unfortunately I'm on a medical going into next year, so I think I'm about halfway through my medical starts. But it would be really nice to get that locked up.

I've never been the type of guy that's just going to go from zero to 100. It took me a while to get out here. So I'm totally happy being -- last week was great. I finished 28th, frustrating finish for me, but it gave me a lot of confidence going into this week, so to be able to build on that, once I get a little confidence I've always been able to kind of ride it.

Yeah, I want to play well this weekend, obviously. If it doesn't work out, I'll be fine. I like where my game is at.

I haven't been in this situation in probably -- probably since Wells Fargo last year, 2022, so it's been a year and a half, and your body feels a lot different when you're in contention out here than it does at home on the range when you have 100 more tries at a shot.

I'm just trying to take it one step at a time, and hopefully I play great this weekend. If I don't, I'll be able to look back, I got in this situation, and kind of build off that for the rest of the fall and going into next year.

Q. Do you have to monitor how much you play or are you going to play the whole fall?

LANTO GRIFFIN: I'm planning to play Cabo and Bermuda for sure and then see how -- RSM would be three weeks in a row with pretty heavy travel from Cabo to Bermuda and Bermuda back. Luckily, the TOUR has some charters to help with that. The air travel is tough on the body, especially after six days and the red eye home from Napa. It took me a couple days to feel normal again.

Being able to limit the travel, it's tough to go from Cabo to Bermuda, but I'm going to check on RSM.

Q. So obviously no Japan next week?

LANTO GRIFFIN: I'm not in Japan. If I was in Japan, I'd be there. I love that -- I only played it once, but I love that place. I'm bummed I'm not there next week, but playing well this weekend would make it a little bit more fun to watch on TV.

Q. I was looking back, I wrote a story about you a couple years ago here. You had your flight booked home and you went and shot 64 on Friday and matched it on Saturday.

LANTO GRIFFIN: I was thinking about that, yeah. I've had five good rounds in a row out here. I played well on Sunday that year.

I've always liked Vegas for multiple reasons. Blackjack is fun. I like the golf courses here. The climate. I'm comfortable here. I played well at CJ Cup at Shadow. I've always liked this tournament. Shriners does an incredible job, everything, food to the golf course to all the fun stuff to do. I feel comfortable in this environment.

Q. What kind of food are we talking about?

LANTO GRIFFIN: No, they just do such a good job in dining. Obviously there's a ton of good food off the golf course, but this tournament for whatever reason, they do a really good job every year.

Q. You talked about coming off a T28 last week in Jackson. Talk a little bit about your mentality and approach coming into this week and does it shift considering the spot you're in heading into the weekend?

LANTO GRIFFIN: I think you're always trying to play the best you can. When you haven't played well in a while, a T28 feels a lot better than it does when you've had a couple really good tournaments.

Being able to build off that last week, I was frustrated as hell Sunday night. I bogeyed three of the last four last week and had a good chance to top 10, top 20. But kind of used that as fuel.

At the beginning of the week last week I would have been happy with 28th with the way that I've been playing. Now we're going to push it, and obviously I have a good shot this weekend.

But try and put all those feelings and thoughts out of the way and just try and take it one at a time. It's cliche, but it's a hard game when you've got five hours to think, and there's so many things going through your head, medical -- I haven't played well in a while, I'm playing well, I need to do this. Just being able to put that on the back burner and just take care of what's in front of you is important.

Q. You spoke about the realignment change you made last week with the putter at Sanderson. Was it just as simple as that or were you tinkering with other stuff?

LANTO GRIFFIN: I've been traveling with three, four putters every week all year it feels like. It was simple as Scott looked at my putting stroke, I think it was before the pro Am real early last Wednesday, and he was like, your eyes are four inches outside the ball. I was like, so you want me to get more on my heels or you want me to stand further from it? He was like, I don't care, I just want your eyes over the ball.

It was an immediate -- tweaked it, and I putted well all four days last week, putted well the first two days this week.

When you can set up over it, you feel comfortable, it's a lot easier to make a good stroke than if you kind of feel tangled. It's a lot easier to see the line. If you can see your line, see the start line and simplify it, it makes putting a lot easier. I wish I would have figured it out six months ago. Maybe we'd be having a different conversation. Better late than never.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
138025-1-1002 2023-10-14 00:58:00 GMT

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