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Jun 4, 2024 3:15 pm

After catching his breath, Davis Riley ready for Memorial

Davis Riley

Davis Riley does not need any reminders that life can change in an instant, especially after his whirlwind three-week stretch.

He will head into his third career Memorial Tournament on Thursday at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, two weeks after securing his first individual tournament title when he held off Keegan Bradley and Scottie Scheffler to win the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 26.

It was a much-needed respite from a trying few days for Riley, whose sister underwent emergency surgery for a brain tumor one week prior. Then, during the tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, fellow golf professional Grayson Murray died by suicide after withdrawing in the second round.

Riley found the strength to secure the victory, shooting an even-par 70 in the final round to finish with a tournament total of 14-under 266 that earned him the $1.638 million top prize. He was paired in the final round with Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world.

“It was a super exhausting week, but to get it done by myself gave me a lot of confidence going forward,” said Riley, whose only other PGA Tour victory came during the 2023 team event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, when he partnered with Nick Hardy.

The victory last month also allowed him to rearrange his schedule. He backed out of last week’s RBC Canadian Open, and even chose to withdraw from a U.S. Open qualifying tournament in Canada this week.

“Yeah, after Fort Worth, long, grueling week, getting the win there, I decided to withdraw from Canada, just to take a week of rest to get prepared for (The Memorial),” he said.

As a player still making a name for himself, Riley is not scheduled to play in the Memorial’s Wednesday pro-am. It meant that he had to get in all his course preparation by sundown Tuesday.

And yet his schedule checklist still has some uncompleted items. He has not yet seen his family since his sister’s surgery.

“But a lot of FaceTime calls, and my sister’s doing really well, which has been nice,” Riley said. “I haven’t got to see them in person yet, but obviously looking forward to that whenever, hopefully in the near future.”

The correspondence since his win has included others outside the family circle. The Alabama alum said he received a congratulations text from fellow Alabama product and NFL quarterback Mac Jones, as well as his former Crimson Tide golf coach Jay Seawell.

On hold is his congratulatory milkshake that Seawell has started as something of a tradition for current and former players in the program who find success.

“He texted me after the tournament. He just said, ‘Milkshake time,'” Riley said. “So luckily, we’re at a pretty good place for milkshakes.”

As for his non-dairy goals this week, Riley will have the same approach toward the golf course at Murfield Village as he did when he won two weeks ago at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.

“It’s just a ball-striking golf course,” Riley said. “You’ve got to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. Similar to Colonial, you got to drive it in the fairway, and fairways and greens are going to be the premium, just because when you get in this rough, it’s so thick and it can be very tricky around and just off the fairway. So definitely a ball-striking premium.”

–Field Level Media

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