Weekly Wrap-Up | Davis Riley Turns Season Around in a Special Week | The New Colonial Has Some Teeth

Davis Riley Gets It Done in Impressive Fashion

The week following a stretch of a signature event and a major can sometimes feel uneventful as many of the world’s best players usually take time off.

After the birdie fest that was the PGA Championship, attention turned to the newly renovated Colonial Country Club, a classic staple on the PGA Tour.

With Texas native Scottie Scheffler in the field, there was keen interest in his performance, particularly given his controversial involvement in an early morning traffic incident the previous Friday.

Scheffler started with a slow round of 2-over par, shifting the focus to the top of the leaderboard, where several players began strong, aiming to turn their seasons around.

Among these players were Charlie Hoffman (65), Davis Riley (66), Tony Finau (66), Brian Harman (66), Martin Laird (66), and S.H. Kim (66). Only Harman and Finau entered the week ranked inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup standings.

After a second-round 64, Alabama standout Davis Riley took the lead and never relinquished it, fending off an 11-under Friday and Saturday charge from world number one Scheffler.

On a challenging Sunday, where the field averaged 2.25 over par, Riley dug deep to shoot an even par round, winning by an impressive five shots over Scheffler and Keegan Bradley.

This victory marks Riley’s first individual win on the PGA Tour, with his previous win coming at the 2022-2023 Zurich Classic team event. It also significantly improves his season outlook, moving him up to 55th in the FedEx Cup rankings from 131st at the start of the week.

The New Colonial Country Club

Hosting the PGA Tour since 1946, Colonial Country Club is the longest-standing host on the schedule.

Less than 24 hours after the final putt in the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge, a full renovation of the historic layout began. Gil Hanse was tasked with restoring the course to the original Perry Maxwell design while ensuring it met modern standards.

Over the years, Colonial had evolved into a sharper and sleeker appearance, moving away from Maxwell’s original rugged look that blended with the landscape.

Armed with the program from the 1941 US Open, which provided a detailed description of each hole from that Championship, Hanse set out to restore the course to its original character.

Additionally, many of Colonial’s water hazards had been lost over time, giving the course more of a parkland feel with just trees and rough as obstacles.

Hanse notably revamped the par-3 eighth and sixteenth holes to bring water hazards back into play and opened up other areas of the course to reintroduce water as a significant challenge while leaving the infamous “Horrible Horseshoe” (holes 3-5) largely untouched.

The new Colonial Country Club layout played superbly this week, with players challenged by the firmness of the new greens, the introduction of new and closer hazards, and relocated fairway bunkers designed to counteract modern distance gains.

In an era where players often finish tournaments at 20+ under par, it was refreshing to see only one player reach double digits under par, with just 21 players shooting even or better in the final round.

As always, Hanse demonstrated his knack for enhancing both the aesthetics and playability of a course. He can take a classic design from the early 1900s and still challenge the best players in the world, which is exactly what he achieved here once again.

Patrick Stephenson
Patrick Stephenson

Hello, I’m Patrick Stephenson, a golf enthusiast and a former Division 1 golfer at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I have an MBA degree and a +4 handicap, and I love to share my insights and tips on golf clubs, courses, and instruction through this blog.

Here are clubs that I rely on when I play golf:

Driver: Ping 425 Max
3 Wood: Titleist 917
Hybrid: Titleist 818
4-7 Iron: TaylorMade 760
PW-8 Iron: TaylorMade 7MC
58, 54, 50 Wedges: Vokey SSM9
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red S

Articles: 49

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