Emiliano Grillo and the slow metamorphosis of 2,778 days he had to live, suffer and have fun in order to become a golf champion again

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When Emiliano Grillo won his first title in PGA Tourin 2015, in the first tournament he played as a member of the world’s top golf circuit, he was glad this celebration had come so early in his career. “The faster the better”he said in an interview with clarion soon after. At the time, he certainly didn’t imagine his second crown at this level would be too coveted. And is that the man from Chaco had to wait 2,779 days to cry out champion again.

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He did this last Sunday when he was crowned at the Charles Schwab’s challenge, in Fort Worth. Seven years and seven months in which she had to learn to live with defeat, but she also found a way to live and enjoy golf differently.

The 23-year-old Emiliano who lifted the trophy in October 2015 in Napa, California, was not the same one who won a few days ago on the Texan course, after a dramatic finale, with an unusual double bogey on the last hole and a narrow tie-break victory against the American adam schenk. Between that and this triumph, Grillo grew and matured as a player and as a person; he understood that the desire to win was getting him nowhere; and he too became a father. The birth of your child andrèin March 2022, he changed his approach to life and competition.

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“They say the second is more difficult to achieve than the first. And it certainly was. The hardest thing was the waiting. I knew I would win again, I had no doubts, what happens is that the years go by and I don’t comes and you start wondering what’s going on,” acknowledged the 30-year-old from Chaco. “It was hard, but it was worth it. It’s worth the hard work all year, the nights out there with no sleep, the nights getting a little long. It’s worth all the effort.”

To understand how much the way Grillo thinks and experiences golf has changed, it is worth recalling an anecdote he shared with this newspaper in that speech at the end of 2015. The man from Chaco recalled that in March of that year, months before winning his first title, he had come close to winning the Puerto Rican Open, to which he had arrived as a guest and in which he had the victory in a putt of less than half a meter, but he missed it. And that mistake ate his head.

“I couldn’t sleep for a week because of the nightmares I had about what happened in that tournament. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. It was my first big chance and I didn’t take it,” he said at the time. “But I’ve learned my lesson.”

Sunday, in Colonial country club in which he had won Robert DeVincenzo In 1957, Grillo experienced a similar situation with that double bogey on the 18th hole. His reaction reflects how much he has grown since his early PGA days.

“I had a double in the 18th and honestly I didn’t care, although obviously I wanted to win and finish it in the 72nd,” said the man who had come into the race after missing the cut at the PGA Championship, one of the biggest events on the calendar , a week earlier.

While waiting for his rivals to complete the course to find out what was going on with the finish, he got distracted by hitting a few swings with two girls who were watching the final round, near the first tee of the course.

“It was a way to get me out of the situation. I had basically given up the tournament and it was no longer in my hands. Jose Coceres he did the same to me when i was 7 or 8 and it was the best experience of my life. he marked me. I hope these guys remember that too,” she said.

Then he reentered the tournament and ended up celebrating. And after winning the tiebreak, he also invited the two boys with whom he had thrown a few balls to the locker room, gave each of them a cap and signed a couple of autographs for them.

Grillo and his son André, born in March 2022 and who changed his perspective on life and golf.  Instagram photo @grilloemiliano

Grillo and his son André, born in March 2022 and who changed his perspective on life and golf. Instagram photo @grilloemiliano

That funny and curious moment between Grillo and his little fans may not have happened before André’s arrival in the chaco’s life. But the birth of his son – who accompanied him to the post-victory press conference on Sunday wearing a River, the club of his loves, made him start prioritizing other things than sports. “The moment I first heard him cry, my life stopped mattering,” he wrote in the post. instagram after becoming a father.

On Sunday, he said: “14 months ago, with my wife Alexia we had our first child and it changed my whole perspective. I think today I’m much more mature and I have things besides golf that matter more to me. Maybe that That’s why this trophy ended up coming.”

Grillo – born in Resistencia in 1992, he went on a scholarship to the David Leadbetter Academy in the United States, he had a period in European tourwon an olympic diploma in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and has been based in San Diego for years – has had many ups and downs since its PGA debut. He alternated good performances in tournaments in which he reached the last day – and the last holes – fighting for the title with others in which he didn’t break through or was far from the first places, which were the most frequent.

Grillo scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season and finished 18th in the FedEx Cup. Photo Steve DYKES/Getty Images via AFP

Grillo scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season and finished 18th in the FedEx Cup. Photo Steve DYKES/Getty Images via AFP

But this season he seems to have found a good regularity. He played 20 tournaments and finished in the top 10 in five: he finished fifth in the standings Sanderson Farms Championship (Mississippi) and fourth in ZOZO Championship (played in Japan) in October; seventh in RBC assets (South Carolina) and fifth in Mexican open in April; and shouted champion in Fort Worth. And he was only shut out after the first two rounds in five events.

With the title conquered on Sunday he climbed from 80th to 42nd place in the world rankings and finished in 18th place in the Fedex cupthe annual ranking of the American circuit that determines who will play at the end of the year Tour Championship, to which the best 30 of the season arrive. And which, in addition, ensures full participation in the circuit for the first 125cc of the regular phase.

After seven years and seven months searching for his second crown, Grillo finally got it. More mature, more focused, more aware of what each victory costs and with different priorities, the man from Chaco has once again re-established himself as PGA Tour champion and is dreaming big again. “This title is everything to me. It’s worth it,” he said.

Source: Clarin

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