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This is the ninth and final in a series of profiles on members of the 2017 induction class of the Fike High Athletic Hall of Fame that will be enshrined Oct. 21 in a ceremony at the school.
John-Tyler Griffin was simply trying to show up on leaderboards and attract college recruiters playing golf at Fike High in the mid-2000s.
How did that mission unfold?
Griffin proceeded to become the first Wilson golfer to win a North Carolina High School Athletic Association individual championship, continued his career in NCAA Division I All-America style at Georgia Tech and recently completed his sixth year of playing professionally on developmental tours.
Griffin’s introduction to fame came in 2004, when he captured the NCHSAA 3-A individual championship with rounds of 70-70—140, 4-under-par, at Woodlake Resort and Golf Club in the Pinehurst area.
He would finish the runner-up in 2006. His Fike teams placed third, second, eighth and second, respectively during his four years. The Golden Demons compiled a 67-9-1 dual-match record.
Griffin seized East Regional titles in 2003 and 2004 and reigned as the conference individual champion in 2004 and 2006. He earned first-team All-State accolades in 2004 and 2006.
Griffin still possesses the following records low season stroke average (71.50 in 2006); low career stroke average (72.66); rounds under par in a season (nine in 2006) and consecutive rounds played under par (five in 2006). His Fike career low round was a 66 at Willow Springs Country Club.
At Georgia Tech, Griffin was twice proclaimed All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference. He ranked as high as No. 16 in the Men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings and was a two-time team captain. His teams won four consecutive ACC men’s golf titles.
Griffin is currently preparing for the Web.com Tour qualifying school, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 and starting in Charlotte. He has won at least one event each of his pro years and reports the win total is approaching 10.
Of his state championship as a Fike sophomore playing for head coach Jim Boykin Jr. — also a member of this year’s hall-of-fame class — Griffin reflected: “It was a good year; it’s nice to win something like that. We had a good team and were trying to win (team title). We were always trying to win for Coach Boykin. He was such an impact and was so good with everyone at every level. We probably played too hard.
“I remember a lot of the shots and the adrenaline,” Griffin recalled of his state-championship run at Fike. “So many good players have come through Fike and, for me to be the first (to win individual state title) is pretty special. At the time, I didn’t know what it meant.”
But Griffin soon learned.
Of the hall-of-fame recognition, Griffin graciously responds: “It’s not a goal because you may be missing the fun of the sport, the activity and everything else. But looking back, making it is awesome!”