East Chapel Hill's Ben Griffin sets sights on 3rd 4A title - WNCN: News, Weather

East Chapel Hill's Ben Griffin sets sights on 3rd 4A title

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East Chapel Hill High's Ben Griffin won his first N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A golf title as a freshman. East Chapel Hill High's Ben Griffin won his first N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A golf title as a freshman.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Ben Griffin's pure, classic swing began to take shape at an early age -- a very early age.

"I started when I was 11 months old," said Griffin, a two-time state champion.

Eleven month's old? How in the world did that come about?

"We just happened to be on vacation and the time was right," said his father, Cowan Griffin. "He was there and just grabbed it and started swinging away."

"He just put a golf club in my hand and I just swung it," the East Chapel Hill High senior said. "I didn't know what I was doing."

But, his father said, "He was a natural."

Just how natural became even more evident when Griffin shocked the Tar Heel state, winning a 4A title his freshman year. Suddenly he began to travel from tournament to tournament as his family started to rack up car miles by the thousands. 

Add in entry fees, meals and lodging, and the cost of Griffin's passion began to add up. But it's a price his parents never thought twice about.

"The game of golf and what it's going to do for him in a lifetime, I'm glad he's excited about it because it will pay off multi-fold," Cowan said.

Now, trophies with no room to be displayed remain boxed in his bedroom. And magazine covers plaster his walls while dreams of future conquest lie on the horizon.

"To win three and tie the record with another PGA Tour pro who's already out there would be cool, and hopefully I can pull it off this year," he said. Brendon Todd won three N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A golf title while at Cary's Green Hope High.

Ben heads into his senior year with plenty of momentum in his quest for the trifecta, especially after winning the prestigious Rolex tournament of champions this summer in Pennsylvania.

"That was probably my breakthrough moment," Ben said. "I know I've won a couple of state championships in my high school career; but really ... to do it at a national level is really cool."

And that victory was not lost on his father.

"Hey, he's pretty good," Cowan said.

Nearly 17 years after he first picked up a golf club, Ben can now look forward and think:

"Man, this game could take me really far."

Todd Gibson

Known as "Gibby" around the station, Todd excels at taking viewers beyond who won or who lost. He hosts "Friday Night Blitz," a showcase of varsity football action in our area. If you have a cool sports story, tell Gibby! More>>

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