Unless you follow the PGA Tour closely, you probably don’t know Lanto Griffin.
He has won once on tour — the Houston Open a year ago — and is ranked 59th in the world. His parents were hippies and named him after the spiritual master Lord Lanto.
“It's been an interesting name my whole life,” Griffin said. “I go by Larry a lot at Panera Bread. Anytime anybody asks for a name for an order, it's always Larry just to avoid that 30-, 60-second conversation of where your name's from, but it's a good conversation starter.”
At the Zozo Championship on Saturday, Griffin continued to make a name for himself. He opened the third round with four consecutive birdies and, despite some rough patches, held on to shoot a four-under-par 68.
“This is what I dreamed about, position I dreamed about being in my whole life,” said Griffin, 32. “From being on mini tours, the Korn Ferry Tour, now to be here playing with the best players in the world in the final group, it's a lot of fun.”
Despite his namesake, Griffin was careful not to overthink his strong start.
“I try not to get too deep into that in my own head,” he said. “I'm fairly pessimistic in my own mind. I try and downplay everything. It's just the best way for me to stay focused. I could be nine under through nine, and I don't think I'd act much different than if I was even. It's just the way my mind works for me to keep playing well.”
Thomas, hunting his 14th victory on tour, has been remarkably steady. He shot a 67 on Saturday after consecutive 65s.
“I'm really, really close to kind of hitting everything, every iron, wedge like I want,” Thomas said. “There's just a couple shots I'm still not quite comfortable with, but I'm getting closer.”
Not only did Rahm shoot a bogey-free 63, but for the first time in his career, he hit every fairway — 13 of 13.
Rahm was most pleased with his putting. He had 22 putts Saturday, five fewer than Thursday and six fewer than Friday.
“They started going in. That's it,” he said. “The last five-and-a-half rounds, my putter was absolutely cold. Didn't make anything at all.”
In a three-way tie for fourth are Sebastian Munoz, Ryan Palmer and Patrick Cantlay.
“I think obviously I'm not even close to even getting in the top 10,” said Woods, who followed his 66 on Friday with a 71. “But if I can just play well shot for shot and build on what I had [Friday] … I'll have a lot of positives.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.