Water bill mishap, stomach bug don't derail Ben Griffin at The RSM Classic

Water bill mishap, stomach bug don’t derail Ben Griffin at The RSM Classic

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – A home game on the PGA TOUR seemingly provides an advantage. No hotel or rental car needed. Familiarity with local cuisine and geography. The little things.

Until the day-to-day “life things” go awry.

Ben Griffin had such a scenario earlier this week at The RSM Classic. As he prepared to take a shower at home Tuesday morning, the adopted St. Simons Island resident learned his roommate had accidentally left the most recent water bill unpaid, and the water was shut off. (That roommate, Bryson Nimmer, had just Monday qualified with a 63). This inconvenience was compounded by a stomach bug that has limited Griffin’s food intake this week – “the last three days have been full of electrolytes.”

It meant for on-the-fly logistical arrangements, but Griffin has thrived under such circumstances in the past year. Thursday was no different. The TOUR rookie opened The RSM Classic in 7-under 65 at Sea Island GC (Plantation), one off the early pace of recent PGA TOUR University graduate Cole Hammer.

“My WHOOP said I was 1% recovery, so that’s never good,” Griffin said Thursday afternoon at Sea Island GC. “I think it was a stomach virus or food poisoning. I didn’t eat at all today. Monday night, I didn’t sleep at all, so I was kind of up all night in the bathroom throwing up. It wasn’t great. Then tried to sleep most of the day Tuesday, but only got two hours.

“I haven’t had a lot of fuel from a food standpoint in my system the last few days, but it’s always exciting teeing it up on the PGA TOUR, and I had energy right out of the gate. So it was all good.”

Griffin took just two bites of cereal Thursday morning before heading for the course, and he had a protein shake in his bag, but it exploded. The recent Korn Ferry Tour graduate was undaunted, though. At a familiar course where he has produced several rounds in the low 60s, and even a 59 this summer where he holed out from 155 yards for eagle on his final hole (the par-4 ninth), he produced a clean card Thursday at the final full-field TOUR event of the calendar year.

The North Carolina native has authored one of golf’s most memorable stories of the season; after stepping away from the game in summer 2021 to work as a mortgage loan officer, he earned Korn Ferry Tour membership via Q-School and proceeded to earn his first TOUR card via the season-long standings. He also finished T3 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last month after leading on the back nine Sunday.

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