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May 27, 2024

Alabama alum Davis Riley victorious in Texas

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Davis Riley

Went wire to wire for first individual win

Davis Riley broke through for his first individual win on the PGA Tour Sunday, successfully holding off world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and others to capture the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.

Riley, a former University of Alabama golfer, shot a steady even-par 70 in the final 18 to finish at 14-under 266. Keegan Bradley and Scheffler each were five shots back at 271. Riley led wire to wire and was ahead by four shots heading into the final round and nobody made a serious charge.

Riley’s only previous win on the PGA Tour came at the Zurich Classic, a team event in New Orleans in which he played with Nick Hardy. He pocketed $1.68 million for the win in Fort Worth.

Sister’s brain surgery weighed on his mind

The victory came  in an event marred by Saturday’s death of PGA Tour player Grayson Murray and also with Riley’s concern about the health of his sister Caroline, who recently was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“She was at work one day, had a seizure,” Riley said. “I got a call; I was actually out practicing. Whenever somebody close to you is suffering or you hear something like that you kind of hit the panic button. Then, yeah, it escalated to her getting CT scans, a lot of blood work, and they found a brain tumor on her brain.”

Davis Riley
Davis Riley (Photo: PGA Tour)

Within 24 hours, his sister underwent surgery. Doctors removed the tumor and pathology came back as non-cancerous.

“When you have somebody that close to you, all the worst-case scenarios are going through your head. It was certainly a scary feeling thinking about how you could lose your sister,” he said. “But, thankfully, she was, my parents were up there, she was around some amazing doctors, and they took good care of her.”

Riley said when he heard the original news, he wasn’t sure if he would even play in the Charles Schwab Challenge.

“Honestly, I was a little beside myself for most of the week last week, but my parents told me that my sister wanted me to go out there and play and compete and do what I love and that meant the world to me. I’m just very fortunate and excited that she was in really good hands and everything is in the right direction.”

By winning, Riley now qualifies for the final two signature events on Tour and is No. 55 on the FedEx Cup points list after a slow start to the season.

“I’ve been kind of looking to try to get some momentum this year,” Riley said. “It’s been a slower start to the year than I’ve been wanting and obviously this helps a lot, catapulting me in the right direction, and like you said, being in the field for the remaining two signature events will be huge and hopefully I’m looking forward to those as good opportunities to make a push towards the Tour Championship, I’m over the moon and excited for the rest of the season.”

Riley surged to his big lead heading into the final round with rounds of 66-64-66. Paired with Scheffler Sunday, he answered a bogey on the second hole with a birdie at the fourth and never looked back.

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Featured image of Davis Riley courtesy of the PGA Tour

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