It’s been a while since Emiliano Grillo has been able to lift a trophy in celebration on the PGA Tour.
After 71 holes of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, it looked like the Argentine might finally be ending that streak with a two-shot lead with one hole remaining.
However, nothing in life is ever that easy.
Grillo’s drive on the 18th hole drifted right with his ball eventually finding a stream which flowed back towards the golfer.
As a result, the ball very slowly bobbed its way almost all the way back to the 18th tee, with TV cameras documenting the almost seven-minute drama while Grillo could only stand by and wait for it to stop.
Eventually, after the ball had traveled approximately 100 yards before stopping against a rock, Grillo was able to take a drop. After the bizarre turn of events, he could only rescue a double-bogey on the final hole to tie with Adam Schenk at eight-under, ensuring a playoff.
Despite the near disaster, Grillo was able rally in the end, birdieing the second hole of the playoff to claim his first PGA Tour win since October 2015.
Afterwards, Grillo explained his emotions and thought process during the agonizing wait when the ball was trickling downstream.
“I’ve done it before. I’ve hit the exact same shot to the right of the tree. I knew it, when I saw one of the marshals walk right of the tree, I knew it was going to be a long wait until that ball stopped,” Grillo told reporters.
“It stopped for like five, 10 seconds at one moment. I actually thought I got lucky. So I had a big window. Then five seconds later, the ball kept moving.”
The 30-year-old added: “I was hoping for the ball to stop so I could get it in the fairway and have a chance. I knew that wherever it was dropping was going to be on the cart path or the side of the hill, and the situation wasn’t going to be ideal.
“After hitting my shot in the water, I’m like: ‘OK, what’s the easiest way to make a five from here?’ The easiest would have been the ball to stop at some point, get in the fairway, hit the green, and two-putt. That would have been an ideal situation, just give myself a putt from the green for four.
“Obviously, that ball, when it stopped, it stopped like right in front of a branch and a rock, and it was almost an unplayable shot. So I just had to get my stuff together and try to make a five from there.”
Grillo became the second Argentinian to win at Colonial Country Club since Roberto De Vicenzo in 1957, who, at the time, in doing so won $5,000.
This year, though, Grillo won $1.566 million for his efforts, fending off stiff challenges from Schenk, Scottie Scheffler and Harry Hall to win his second PGA Tour win.
Battling emotions after claiming the momentous win, he said the victory was “worth the wait.”
“It feels great. The wait was definitely worth it. It was long, but it was worth it,” Grillo said.
“Happy to be champion in Colonial. I get to put my name right next to Roberto De Vicenzo, which is 40, 50 years ago. I’m excited.
“I said it a few times that I wasn’t going to retire without winning here, and I’m lucky that I got it done in the last year before the renovations. I’m excited. I’m happy. That’s the way I can put it.”
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