Golf

Davis Riley runs away with Charles Schwab Challenge as PGA Tour, golfers honor Grayson Murray

Davis Riley runs away with Charles Schwab Challenge as PGA Tour, golfers honor Grayson Murray

Content warning: This story contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide and needs support now, call or text 988 or chat with the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988lifeline.org.

Davis Riley had no issue whatsoever closing out the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday afternoon.

Riley, despite posting only an even-par 70 in his final round, flew ahead to a five-shot win over the rest of the field at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. That earned him the second win of his career, and his second win on the PGA Tour in as many years. It's also his first solo win on Tour.

Riley took a four-shot lead into the final round, which was cut down thanks to a late surge from Scottie Scheffler on Saturday afternoon. The top-ranked golfer in the world carded a 63 on Saturday to get to 10-under, but he struggled to do much of anything on Sunday. Scheffler made two bogeys in his first five holes and ended up finishing with a 1-over 71 to drop to 9-under.

Riley, on the other hand, offset a pair of early bogeys perfectly and took a huge six-shot lead into the back nine after he sank a birdie putt at the 9th. From there, he simply held on the rest of the way to get to 14-under and grab the win. The win moved him to No. 55 in the FedExCup standings and earned him a spot in the remaining signature events on Tour this season.

Keegan Bradley jumped into second with his 3-under 67 on Sunday, which brought him even with Scheffler. Only Maverick McNealy had a better day, as his 4-under jumped him 41 spots on the leaderboard into T17. Collin Morikawa finished alone in fourth at 8-under on the week.

Though Riley ran away with the event, his win came just one day after longtime Tour golfer Grayson Murray died by suicide.

Murray died Saturday morning in Texas, shortly after he withdrew from the tournament in the middle of his second round Friday. He was 30.

"Obviously, a super sad day in the golf world. My heart just goes to him and his family," Riley said on CBS after his win. "There was definitely a little extra to play for today."

Murray won twice on the Tour in his career, including earlier this season at the Sony Open in Hawaii in a three-way playoff. That snapped a long winless drought for him after his inaugural win at the Barbasol Championship in 2017. Murray had struggled for years with depression and anxiety, and he received treatment for alcohol abuse after his first win.

He had been sober since early 2023, however, and seemed to be on a much better path with his mental health.

"I would drink during tournament weeks. It was my outlet,” Murray said in January after his win at the Sony Open. “I thought I was invincible coming out here as a 22-year-old, winning as a rookie, played three days hungover when I won. Best and worst thing that ever happened to me was winning my rookie year, but also feeling like I was invincible … I’m a different man now. I would not be in this position right now today if I didn’t put that drink down eight months ago.”

The Tour considered stopping play altogether after Murray’s death, but his parents insisted that it continue on as scheduled. They also requested that golfers wear red and black ribbons on Sunday, which were the colors Murray always wore when competing on Sunday’s himself in honor of his hometown Carolina Hurricanes.

“Obviously the news hasn’t really sunk in quite yet, but I’m thinking about his family and praying hard for all of them,” Scheffler said after his round on Saturday. “I can’t imagine how difficult of a time this is. I got to know Grayson a bit better over the last six months or so and, yeah, really just, there’s not really a way to put into words how sad and tragic it is, but I’m thinking about his family.”

Webb Simpson, who finished the week at 3-over, said he first met Murray when Murray was about 8 years old.

“When you hear news like that over the phone, you don't think it's real at first, and you know, you hear the emotion coming from our swing coach and then you realize it's real,” Simpson said on Saturday. “I know that his mom was with him during the Wells Fargo Championship [earlier this month] and I think they were hanging out together, and I loved those two days we got together [playing there]. So I'm super thankful for getting some good time with him before the bad news of today.”

Harry Higgs, who won on the Korn Ferry Tour on Sunday at the Knoxville Open, spoke about Murray in his victory speech.

"I thought last night, I didn't sleep worth a darn, and I'm really good at sleeping," Higgs said. "I kind of thought about this moment and maybe how to remember Grayson, and it just kind of dawned on me … this golf stuff and the result, it's lovely sure, but it's just not that meaningful … Everybody here could be a difference, the difference. Brighten up somebody's day, it could mean the world."

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