Georgia Tech All-American J.T. Griffin has decided to forgo his chances of making the U.S. Walker Cup team. Griffin turned professional last week and will play this week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, as a pro.
“I was just beating my head against the wall trying to make that team,” said Griffin, who recently graduated from Georgia Tech and finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. “I figured it was probably time to start looking ahead to the future.”
Griffin made his pro debut last week at the eGolf tour’s Southern Open, where he shot rounds of 71-73 to miss the cut.
Griffin recorded seven top-10s in 12 starts for the Yellow Jackets last season, including a runner-up at the Western Refining Collegiate All-American Classic.
Griffin, of Wilson, N.C., earned his exemption into this week’s Nationwide Tour event after being named a Division I first-team All-American. He said the tournament would honor his exemption despite his decision to turn professional.
“That was kind of the deciding factor,” he said. “I figured I would play it as a pro and try to get some experience under my belt.
“I’ve played amateur golf for so long and now, I’m just ready to look forward. My play’s been kind of dull since the end of the college season, so I’m hoping this switch, with some new faces and new challenges, will maybe spark a little better play.”
After this week’s Nationwide Tour event, Griffin said he doesn’t have any other events on the schedule. He plans to play a collection of Nationwide Tour Monday qualifiers and NGA/Hooters Tour events, in addition to a Monday qualifier for his hometown PGA Tour event, the Wyndham Championship.