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Mississippian Davis Riley wins first individual PGA Tour event days after finding out sister had brain tumor

Hattiesburg native Davis Riley kisses the trophy after winning his first individual PGA Tour event on Sunday (Photo courtesy of the Charles Schwab Challenge)

Days after finding out his sister needed surgery to remove a brain tumor, Hattiesburg native Davis Riley found a way to win under uncertain terms when he secured his first individual PGA victory at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial on Sunday.

The Presbyterian Christian alum overcame an early bogey during the final round to hold off world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler at the famous course in Fort Worth, Texas.

How it happened

Riely hovered around the top of the leaderboard all week by firing four consistent rounds to finish at 14-under 266. Scheffler finished at 9-under 271 to secure a second-place tie with Keegan Bradley. Tupelo native Hayden Buckley grabbed a 5-under 275 scorecard to grab a spot in the tournament’s top five behind Collin Morikawa.

The win was Davis’ first individual victory on the PGA Tour after winning the Zurich Classic team event alongside Nick Hardy in 2023. The 27-year-old left Colonial with the traditional winner’s plaid jacket, a fully restored 1975 Stingray car, and a check for over $1.6 million.

What the Mississippian said

After his finish, Riley did take some time to celebrate but also weighed in on the adversity stemming from his older sister’s diagnosis. Fortunately, the surgery was successful, and the tumor was noncancerous.

“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.”

Riley added that he thought about not playing, but his parents told him that his sister wanted him to compete – and win. That’s what he did, ousting the top-ranked player in the world.

“You got the No. 1 player in the world breathing down your neck, so no lead is really too comfortable,” Riley said. “I tried to treat [Sunday] as if we both started tied, and I just tried to win the day.”

The legend of Hogan’s Alley

While Colonial Country Club has been around since 1936, the private club opened its doors to professional golf in 1946 with the Colonial National Invitational. The most iconic winner of the tournament was Ben Hogan, a late Fort Worth resident who won five times and earned the course the nickname of “Hogan’s Alley.” Today, a statue of Hogan stands at the entrance of Colonial.

Charles Schwab & Co., a major sponsor on the PGA Tour and PGA Champions Tour, expanded its presence in 2019 by assuming title sponsorship of the event.

Other headlines from the event
  • While Scheffler didn’t win, it was his third consecutive top-10 finish at Colonial. Scheffler is currently being investigated for driving past a pedestrian fatality against an officer’s instructions, which resulted in his arrest last week in Louisville, Ky. while competing in the PGA Championship.
  • The Charles Schwab Challenge also saw the unfortunate death of Grayson Murray. After withdrawing going into the final round, Murray took his own life. While officials debated canceling the remainder of the event, Murray’s parents urged them to keep playing.

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