Report: Scottie Scheffler settles for second as Davis Riley wins Charles Schwab Challenge.

May 29, 2024

Scottie Scheffler watches his fairway shot on the 17th hole during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas

Scottie Scheffler shot his first over-par final round this season to finish five shots behind former junior golf rival Davis Riley in the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.

The world number one went into the final round four strokes behind Davis, seeking his fifth win in seven starts but shot a one-over 71 to finish in a tie for second with Keegan Bradley on nine-under at Colonial Country Club.

“The tournament overall, I had that tough first round, but I battled back very nicely on Friday and Saturday,” said Scheffler, who followed an opening 72 with rounds of 65 and 63.

“As far as today goes, I just wasn’t able to put as much pressure as I would have hoped to put on Davis early in the round and he just kind of cruised all day. He played great golf.

“He made that bogey on two and answered it really quick with a birdie on four and didn’t really give us much of an opening today, just continued to cruise and play great golf. So it was a well-earned win for him.”

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Scheffler admitted it was difficult to play golf following the news of Grayson Murray’s tragic death on Saturday.

“Overall proud of the fight this week,” he said. “Obviously, it was a pretty difficult day to come out to the golf course with news of Grayson yesterday and, you know, spent that moment of silence today really just thinking about him and praying for his family and his fiancée.

“Obviously, it was pretty difficult to come to play golf. But like his parents said, he would have wanted the tournament to continue. I got to know him fairly well over the last few months, shared a couple of meals with him, and played a couple of practice rounds.

“I was with him for a few hours, he was at our rental house last week. It’s a tough day for all of us out here on Tour and we’re thinking about his family and we’re praying hard for them, for sure.”

Riley, who lost to Scheffler in the final of the 2013 US Junior Amateur Championship, made four birdies and four bogeys in a 70 to win his first individual title on the PGA Tour and move from 250th to 78th in the world.

“I’ve been kind of looking to try to get some momentum this year,” said Riley, who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Nick Hardy last year.

“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 and, yeah, I’m over the moon and excited for the rest of the season.”

Riley endured a difficult time off the course after his sister Caroline had a seizure and underwent surgery for a brain tumour last week.

“When you have somebody that close to you, all the worst-case scenarios are going through your head,” Riley said. “It was certainly a scary feeling thinking about how you could lose your sister.

“But, thankfully my parents were up there; she was around some amazing doctors, and they took good care of her. We actually got some great news early this week.

“They had a successful surgery, removed the brain tumour, sent it off for a pathology report, and it came back non-cancerous, which was amazing; a big sigh of relief.

“Obviously, hearing that news last week, I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play this week. 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.”

Meanwhile, England’s Richard Bland will not receive the customary one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption following his three-shot win in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

Bland dedicated the win to his older brother Heath, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer just over a year ago and learned last week he had cancer in the lungs.

He shot an eight-under 63 to win on his senior debut in Michigan but will not be exempt on the PGA Tour Champions because he plays for LIV Golf.

Sports Illustrated reported that the PGA Tour confirmed his ineligibility.

“In spite of the win, because of competing in an unauthorised event by the PGA Tour, he will be ineligible for Tour-affiliated events,” the Tour said.

Bland said he took “a lot of pride” and “a lot of satisfaction” from winning in his first start as a senior having received an invitation to the event from the PGA of America.

“Won for my brother as well,” he said. “There are a lot of great players out here, so coming into this week I was hoping that I had a good enough game to compete, and I’m glad that I’ve shown that obviously to myself for my own confidence going forward.”