Birthdate: September 14, 1992
Birthplace: Resistencia, Argentina
Turned Professional: 2011
2016 FedEx Cup Rank: 11th
Professional Wins: 3 (PGA Tour’s 2015 Frys.com Championship, 2015 Web.com Tour Championship, 2014 109º VISA Open de Argentina)
Honors & Accolades: 2015-2016 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year
Tee-to-green consistency: Grillo only missed 3 cuts during the 2015-2016 season, a remarkable feat for a 23-year-old rookie, and he did it with his stellar tee-to-green play. None of his individual statistics pop off the page as being world-class, but Grillo is above average in almost every single ball-striking stat.
Areas for Improvement:
On and around the green: While Grillo makes his hay from tee-to-green, on and around the greens is a work in progress. In the strokes gained: around the green and putting statistics, Grillo ranked a disappointing 157th and 108th. It’s not surprising that there are holes in Grillo’s game given his young age. If he is able to significantly improve both of these categories he should win multiple events a year for a long time.
A look at Emiliano Grillo’s Swing:
“I love how he loads the club in transition. From the top of his swing his head drops a decent amount but you can see how well he uses the ground to stabilize this move. He rotates beautifully because well past impact he's still flat footed which tells me he's really pushing hard into the ground which, in my opinion, is done with a proper synchronized rotation. His transition move reminds me a lot of Trevino.”
Emiliano Grillo’s road to the PGA Tour
The 24-year-old Argentine is on the brink of becoming an international star. Grillo has made his quick ascent by making progress each year of his career from being a dominant junior player to spending his early professional years on the European Tour to qualifying for the PGA Tour via the Web.com Tour Finals in 2015 and becoming a PGA Tour winner shortly after. Grillo’s outlook for 2016-2017 is bright, to say the least.
Emiliano Grillo’s amateur career
Growing up in Argentina, Grillo was a phenom in his home country and would regularly travel to large international junior tournaments to test his game against the best of the United States and the world. After winning the 2009 Callaway World Junior Championships, Grillo decided to make a permanent move to the United States. He found a home at the heralded IMG Academy in Orlando where he finished up high school and became a dominant force on the junior and amateur circuit. Grillo’s biggest win came at the prestigious 2011 Terra Cotta Invitational, and he was also named a 1st teaam AJGA All-American in 2010 and 2011. During his two years in America, Grillo quickly became one of the big names in the famed high school class of 2011 that also included the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Patrick Rodgers and Ollie Schniederjans.
The early years…
Instead of heading to college like his fellow heralded peers, Grillo opted for professional golf and went to the 2011 European Tour Q-School where he was able to earn his card for the 2012 season via a t8th finish.
Grillo didn’t waste any time proving that he belonged on the professional level earning a top 10 finish in his first start at the 2012 African Open. Along with his top 10 at the African Open, Grillo also registered a t5th at the ISPS HANDA Perth International and a t10th at the Lyoness Open, enough to finish 94th on the money list and retain his card for the 2013 season.
As a 2nd year player on the European Tour, Grillo’s 2013 season was very similar to his rookie campaign with a few top 10 finishes that carried him to an 89th place finish on the season-long Order of Merit, again retaining his card. Grillo finished the year strong with 5 top 20 finishes in his final 10 events and looked to build off of the momentum in 2014.
The rise begins….
Grillo did just that as 2014 saw the now 21-year-old Argentine breakout. Starting the year off with a great performance at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he finished runner-up to Stephen Gallacher. The runner-up finish was the first of six top 11 finishes for Grillo on the season in which he finished 44th in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. In his last event of 2014, Grillo broke through in his home country to win his first professional event, the 2014 Visa de Argentina Open.
At the start of the 2015 season, Grillo had earned his place as one of the promising young players on the European Tour and looked to build his profile in the United States by taking sponsor’s exemptions to play PGA Tour events. In his first one, Grillo finished in a tie for 2nd at the Puerto Rico Open along with top 25 finishes at both the Barbasol Championship and the RBC Canadian Open. Through these events, Grillo earned enough money to have a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals and a chance at a PGA Tour card. During the 4-event sprint, Grillo was terrific, finishing 9th and t2nd at the first two events before winning the final event to finish first in the Finals standings and earn full-status on the PGA Tour.
The following week at the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Championship, Grillo continued his winning ways and cemented his place among the game’s young stars. 2015 was quite the year for Grillo who saw his world ranking climb from 128th to 32nd with two wins and eight other top 10 finishes.
With his full-status locked up and with exemptions into all the major championships and WGC events, Grillo became a household name and didn’t disappoint. Grillo was a cut-making machine, missing only 2 in 2016 and making the cut in all 4 majors, quite the feat for a 23-year-old.