This PGA Tour winner is out for 5-6 months after surgery; will miss upcoming FedEx Cup playoffs

Lanto Griffin, who has a PGA Tour victory and a pair of Korn Ferry Tour wins under his belt, had a surgical procedure designed to relieve pain from a herniated disc in the spine pressing on an adjacent nerve root.

Not only does it mean the former VCU star and 2009 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year will miss his own charity tournament this week, but he’ll also be forced out of the upcoming FedEx Cup playoffs. That’s adding financial pain to his recurring back issues, as with a standing of 65th in the playoffs, he’d be in prime position for a big payday.

Griffin said on Twitter that his surgery was on Monday, and it was due to an injury that occurred back in 2020. Griffin’s lone victory on the PGA Tour was at the Houston Open in 2019, but he’s had a big 2021-22 season with four top-10 finishes and over $1.7 million in earnings. His best showing was a third-place finish at The American Express in January.

In recent starts, however, Griffin’s play has taken a downturn. He made the cut but finished outside the top 50 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, PGA Championship and The Memorial, but has missed the cut in his last three starts — at the U.S. Open, the Travelers and the John Deere Classic.

“This was a very hard decision with the FedExCup playoffs a few weeks away. I’ve battled through a lot of flare-ups since January and living with intense nerve pain for the past 2 months without relief. Since John Deere I haven’t been able to swing a club period, SO it made the decision an easy one.

Griffin said he instantly felt better after waking up following the surgery and believes the timeline to return is somewhere near the end of the calendar year.

“Woke up after surgery with no nerve pain down my right glute and hamstring. It was like turning off a light switch, modern medicine is pretty amazing! 2-3 months until I can swing a club and looking at a min of 5-6 months before being back on the PGA Tour,” he said. “Can’t wait til the day I can swing a club and put socks on without pain!”