Davis Riley birdied three of his last four holes to seize the lead after Thursday’s opening round of the PGA Memorial tournament, where last-hole setbacks deflated Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Riley, ranked 79th, hasn’t made a cut since taking his first PGA title in April with partner Nick Hardy at the tour pairs event in New Orleans.
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But the 26-year-old American, a back-nine starter, sank a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth to finish on five-under-par 67, one stroke ahead of England’s Matt Wallace at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Riley credited a more relaxed approach for his round, blaming over-eagerness since his maiden PGA win for his string of missed cuts.
“I’ve been more and more eager to get there and been in my own way a little…