It was an eventful finish at the Golf Club of Houston, where there was a three-way tie atop the leaderboard heading into the final few holes.
The move paid off as the pair became a successful team and Griffin was able to replenish his savings and continue his dream of playing full-time on the PGA Tour.
Compatriots Scott Harrington and Mark Hubbard, both also without a PGA title, shared second, Hubbard making an 80-foot eagle putt during his round of 69.
American Lanto Griffin clinched his first PGA Tour title with a one-shot victory at the Houston Open.
On Sunday, he was locked in a battle in the back nine.
Hubbard had the lead till he missed his exclusively fairway of the ultimate spherical on the par 5 15th, into the excessive grass of a hazard. He used to be ready to lower out all around the fairway into more thick grass, hit his third correct into a fairway bunker and missed an eight-foot par putt. He missed a 17-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
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He made his debut here previous year (T41), and will be targeting his first PGA Tour victory in front of home crowds this week. Will have strong home support this week after tying for 11th in the first CJ Cup , before tying for 41st previous year .
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Harrington made four birdies over the final seven holes to take the clubhouse lead at 13 under, though Griffin eventually jumped ahead thanks to a birdie at the 16th. That set him up with a brief iron to 25 toes, however his putt to no less than pressure a playoff stayed left.
Hubbard closed with a 69.
He earned back his PGA Tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour last season and has finished in the top 20 of all five events of the new season, which began last month.
Griffin, a 31-year-old two-time victor on the Korn Ferry Tour, was among the players who had to complete the second round on Saturday morning after darkness halted play on Friday.
With the win, Griffin gets a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. He won on the Korn Ferry Tour previous year and in 2017, and in Uruguay on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2015 when he was trying to make his way.
But Griffin grabbed the lead with a superb 35-foot putt on the par-three 16th for birdie, and held strong with pars on his last two holes to claim victory on 14-under.