Emiliano Grillo explains why he prepped for Charles Schwab Challenge playoff by inviting two kids on the tee with him to hit balls

Emiliano Grillo explains why he prepped for Charles Schwab Challenge playoff by inviting two kids on the tee with him to hit balls

Emiliano Grillo chose one of the more interesting ways to warm up for a potential playoff after making a 72nd-hole double bogey to blow his two-stroke lead in the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. He invited two boys to hit balls on the first tee at Colonial Country Club while he waited for Adam Schenk and Harry Hall to finish their rounds Sunday.

Grillo, a 30-year-old from Argentina, signed for 2-under 68 and a 72-hole total of 8-under 272 after making a mess at the last hole. But he remained calm, crediting better perspective after becoming a parent for the first time 14 months ago, and earned his second PGA Tour title in a sudden-death playoff.

“It wasn’t going to change me,” Grillo explained of the outcome of the tournament. “It wasn’t going to change my excitement to call my family and see my little boy.”

Grillo retreated to the first tee at Colonial to keep sharp and perhaps figure out what went wrong on his tee shot at 18, which cost him the victory in regulation. Before long, he invited two young boys to “hit a few” balls with his clubs. A parent lifted Peyton and Sutton over a fence and into the arms of a friendly police officer on the scene, and then Grillo paid it forward and let them take turns hitting shots.

“It was a little bit of a trick to get my head out of the situation,” Grillo explained. “There’s two kids right next to the 1st tee, and I’m like, ‘Hey, you guys want to hit balls?’ They’re 7, 8 years old or however old they are. Jose Coceres (a 59-year-old Argentine pro, who won twice on the PGA Tour in 2001) did it with me when I was 7, 8 years old, and that was the greatest experience of all, just watching him and hitting his clubs. I kind of got to do it with them, and hopefully they’ll remember that.”

There’s a good chance they will. When asked in a video posted on the PGA Tour’s social media the boys said, “That was probably like the best thing ever,” and added, “One day I’ll be like that and be on the PGA Tour.”

One of them also said to Grillo, “I need a hug,” and then proceeded to hug the golfer.

But to Grillo, the time with Peyton and Sutton helped him too.

“I just made a double. I basically gave the tournament away,” he said. “It was a moment that I needed to get my head out of that.”

Hall ended up making bogey to miss the playoff and Schenk’s birdie effort for the win came up empty. On the second playoff hole, Grillo benefited from a fortuitous bounce on his tee shot at the par-3 16th and ended his nearly eight-year victory drought on the PGA Tour.

Good karma for Grillo’s good deed? Perhaps, but either way it was one cool gesture that Peyton and Sutton will never forget.

UPDATE: Make it two cool gestures as Grillo invited the boys inside the clubhouse after he won and gave them each a cap and made them play rock-paper-scissor for an autographed glove.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek