News & ToursJune 3, 2016

Emiliano Grillo's growing pains after winning in his eighth PGA Tour start

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Winning on the PGA Tour isn’t easy. Neither sometimes is managing the expectations that go with it.   At least that was the case for Emiliano Grillo.   Last November, the 23-year-old Argentine won in his eighth career start on tour and first start as a PGA Tour member when he beat Kevin Na in a playoff at the Frys.com Open. The victory got him into the Masters and gave him job security for the next two years, among other perks.   There was also another, unintended consequence.   “My expectations were really high going into 2016, and I paid the price,” Grillo said Friday. “Even though I told myself to enjoy it, I wanted to play even better. I wanted to play like I'm playing this week.”

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In 14 starts since the victory, Grillo has just three finishes in the top 25 and none in the top 10. Through two rounds at the Memorial, however, he is 11 under and one shot off the lead after a 66 on Friday.   Much of his struggles to this point can be traced to putting -- he ranks 165th in strokes gained putting. Through two rounds at Muirfield Village, he’s fourth.   Friday, Grillo made seven birdies, including four in a five-hole stretch, and just one bogey on the strength of just 26 putts. Ten of those were one-putts.   It helped that he struck the ball well, too, hitting seven of his approach shots to inside 20 feet.   “I tell myself just be patient, and if you’re patient enough, then that win is going to come,” Grillo said. “I’ve been working really hard. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well. It was just a matter of dropping some putts.”


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