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Ben Griffin in Players hunt after leaving mortgage industry at perfect time

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – On a day when Jordan Spieth admitted that he doesn’t “particularly love” TPC Sawgrass and world No. 1 Jon Rahm bolted before his second round with an “illness,” Ben Griffin added some perspective to the pounding players are taking at the flagship event.

The rookie kept pace with a second-round 71 that left him tied for third at 6 under par early on Day 2 at The Players Championship. While many in the field were rocked by Friday’s increasingly difficult conditions, Griffin was content despite closing his round with a double bogey-6 at No. 18.

“I didn’t finish the way I wanted to but the 18th hole is probably the toughest hole all day,” Griffin said. “I’m not going to be the first guy to make a double there. You’re going to see a few.”

Full-field scores The Players Championship

While others might have cursed their closing miscue or the winds, which were gusting to 25 mph by the time he completed his round, Griffin embraced the challenges. What else would you expect from a player who walked away from the game two years ago to work in the residential mortgage industry?

“Taking a break has provided me with an awesome perspective,” he said. “A lot of guys out here, not going to say any names, but a lot of people have big egos, and for me I’m just very grateful to be playing and very lucky to play in awesome conditions, have player dining. There’s so much to be thankful for at all these PGA Tour events, they do so much for us.”

He was also thankful he was able to get out of the residential mortgage business at just the right time.

“[Interest rates] are too high if you’re trying to buy a house. A $500,000 house two years ago was a little bit more affordable and it’s probably double the cost now on a monthly payment,” he said. “I picked a good time to get out of the mortgage industry, and I don’t know how, but people think I’m a wizard for timing it so perfectly.”