Lanto Griffin carded a superb seven-under-par 65 on Saturday to open up a one-shot lead at the Houston Open. World number 176 Griffin, who is searching for his maiden PGA Tour title, made nine birdies and two bogeys in his round of 65 to move onto -11 for the tournament, one stroke ahead of fellow American Mark Hubbard.
Cameron Tringale, Beau Hossler and Peter Malnati are a further shot adrift on -9, two behind the leader, after the trio signed for rounds of 68, 68 and 73 respectively in Humble, Texas. Mexican Carlos Ortiz and Austrian Sepp Straka are in a six-way share of sixth position on -8, joined on that mark by the American quartet of Brandon Wu, Austin Cook, Scott Harrington and Talor Gooch.
Griffin’s short game has been impressive this week, particularly his putting as he is 3.218 in strokes gained, which is considerably more than the 1.997 average for the tournament after 54 holes. Speaking about this area of his game, the 31-year-old leader, as quoted by cbssports.com, said: “My game is the best it’s ever been for sure. I’m playing really smart and my short game has improved a ton. That’s always been my Achilles heel.”