PGA: Davis Riley holds four-shot lead at Charles Schwab Challenge

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Davis Riley has contended on the PGA Tour, but he has never won an individual event on the circuit.

He’ll try to change that Sunday by taking a four-shot lead into the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Having a couple close calls in individual events, you draw back on stuff like that,” Riley said.

He shot a 4-under-par 66 on Saturday, moving to 14-under 196 for the tournament.

Riley will be pursued by Scottie Scheffler, who moved into second place with his bogey-free 63 in the third round. He birdied three of the last four holes in what marked a return to form following the chaotic off-course drama from a week earlier at the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky.

“I’ve known Scottie for a long time and played a lot of junior golf with him, college golf, and he obviously is playing some really good golf right now,” Riley said. “So he’s going to come out swinging, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and it will be a fun day competing out there.”

There was a stunning tone around the third round, when the announcement came that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray had died at age 30.

“I got to know Grayson a bit better over the last six months or so,” Scheffler said. “Really, there’s not really a way to put into words how sad and tragic it is, but I’m thinking about his family.”

Murray shot 68 in the tournament’s first round and then withdrew late in the second round. Murray was from Raleigh, N.C., and had won this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii.

“We were devastated to learn — and are heartbroken to share — that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I am at a loss for words,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same.”

Riley, who led after the second round at 10 under following Friday’s bogey-free 64, went eight more holes without a bogey Saturday. Maintaining that level of player for another round will be the goal.

“Just trying to improve on the times I had before, maybe I could have handled a certain situation better here or there,” Riley said. “But also telling yourself that you can handle the situation and believing in yourself. That’s what I’m just trying to do and just trying to have fun with it.”

Riley’s only PGA Tour victory came in the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a team event with Nick Hardy as his partner.

Scheffler’s third-round score was three shots better than any other golfer and it was his lowest score of the season on the PGA Tour.

“I didn’t obviously know what the leaders were going to do, but just tried to do my best to not look too far ahead and continue to go out there and execute and try and give myself as many looks as possible,” Scheffler said.

Hayden Buckley (69) and Pierceson Coody (69) share third place at 9 under.

“I’m trying to stay kind of in a process mindset with everything and just build because I know I have still a lot of events left and an opportunity to go win the tournament is a great feeling,” Coody said.

Buckley missed the cut in the tournament in his previous two appearances, so he senses an upswing.

“I’ve given myself opportunities and the irons are much improved,” he said. “I’ve really improved my iron game. It’s a lot of placement and I think I’ve done a really good job.”

Robby Shelton’s 67 moved him to 8 under so he’ll also be in pursuit of the $1.638 million winner’s prize. Tony Finau (68) is sixth at 7 under.

Riley, who missed seven of 14 cuts entering the tournament, stretched his lead to five shots on Coody through eight holes with birdies on five holes in the round to that point. Even after a bogey on No. 9, his lead was at six strokes.

After another bogey on the 10th hole, Riley was steady the rest of the way by going 1 under for the final eight holes.

Collin Morikawa shot a back-nine 29 — with 3s on his scorecard for the last seven holes — as part of a 67, putting him in a four-way tie for seventh place at 6 under. It was a strange round because Morikawa had bogeys on four of the last seven holes on the front side.

Defending champion Emiliano Grillo of Argentina shot 73, dipping into a tie for 69th place at 5 over.

–Field Level Media

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