While Johan Greenberg was winning a remarkable battle for the Brymay Cup off handicap between two local sportsmen better known for their rugby exploits, Island player Griggs was regaining the scratch silverware in the first ‘major’ of the Guernsey season thanks to a two-under-par 138 aggregate for 36 holes at L’Ancresse on a sunny Saturday.
However, as he explained, a fortnight or so earlier his participation had been in doubt, much to his chagrin.
‘I was very confident five weeks ago about doing very well this year because I was hitting the ball like I’ve never hit it, ever, and I was actually putting quite well,’ said Griggs.
‘Then I got an infection on my finger, it blew up, my hand became like a football, so I had to have two weeks off.
‘I went back to England and didn’t play any golf for about two or three weeks, came back and honestly could not hit a thing.
‘It’s been really depressing for the last two or three weeks trying to get back into it, but [on Saturday] I just had really good rhythm. Rhythm was the key for me and I just couldn’t miss a fairway, hardly missed a green, still yipped lots of putts and missed some short putts, but that’s me,’ he added with a knowing grin.
He led the scratch standings from the opening morning round when he made five birdies on his way to a 68 gross.
Having reached the turn in 36, which included a birdie at the sixth, he carded four birdies in five holes from the 12th as he came home in 32.
After lunch, he was better after the turn once more, covering the back nine in 33 shots having gone out in 37, to return a level-par 70.
That was enough for him to win by two strokes from Danny Blondel, who shot two 70s, with Bobby Eggo a further shot back in third place.
Surprisingly, considering he had nine birdies on the day, Griggs revealed that his two highlights came when he simply found the short grass on one of the easier driving holes for the elite players.
‘Having played in the [Elite Men’s] Foursomes Championship and driving the odd numbers, I had to drive on the 13th and three times out of three – in the qualifying, in the first round and in the second round – I managed to hit my ball off the tee straight right and I thought “I’ve got a real psychological problem here”.
‘It’s such an easy tee shot and twice we lost balls and lost holes, so my highlights would have to be just that I found the fairway on the 13th twice.’
In the Brymay, it took an incredible afternoon round of 61 nett from Greenberg, playing off 19, to edge out former Siam Cup player and coach Dave Wallace on countback after both had finished on nine-under-par 131 aggregate.
Wallace, playing off 21, had led the field in the morning thanks to a 65 nett which included a birdie at the 17th.
He then showed that was no flash in the pan by following it up with a 66 in the afternoon.
However, Greenberg managed to go five shots better than that after lunch and nine shots better than his own morning round, which he completed in 70 nett.
Steady golf was the order of the afternoon for the victory, who carded a birdie at the fifth and seven pars with just the one double to his name.
‘It’s been getting better, my game, and the weather was the best we could have asked for,’ said Greenberg, who still seemed to be coming to terms with his outstanding score at the presentation the following day.
‘It was brilliant playing the 36 holes in a day, I really did enjoy it,’ added the former St Jacques back.
‘I’ve been playing golf for two years now. I had a knee operation from rugby and the doctor had a PGA [golf] poster behind him in his office and he said I should take it up, so I did.’