Davis Riley of Alabama finished at 10 under
(Alabama Athletics Photo)
OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL (September 17, 2017) - Davis Riley
closed with a three-under 67 to finish at 10 under par and win the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club. His Alabama team wasn't as fortunate, as they watched Texas A&M shoot a 9-under 271 to race past them and take the team title by nine shots.
It was the second straight runner-up finish for the Crimson Tide to start the season, after finishing second in a playoff loss to Georgia Tech
at the Carpet Capital Collegiate last week.
Riley started the day with a one-shot lead over Nick Hardy
of Illinois and Shintaro Ban
of UNLV, and he took control of the tournament early by reeling off four birdies in a row starting at the second. With both Hardy and Ban shooting over-par front nines, Riley was in the clear, and even though he dropped a shot coming in, he still completed a three-shot win over Hardy, who closed with a 69. Ban finished solo third after a final-round 70.
(69) of Oklahoma State finished tied for 4th with Josh Gliege
(70) of Texas A&M.
Gliege was one of four Aggies who recorded par-or-better rounds; Brandon Smith led the way with a five-under 65, the low round of the day. Chandler Phillips
(67) and Reese Ramsey
(69) also counted for Texas A&M, whose 271 was the only under-par round of the tournament on the site of the 2003 U.S. Open.
It was, in fact, a record-setting round for the Aggies--the best team round (271) and team total score (837) in the 12-year history of the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational. A&M has now won its first two tournaments of the season.
After Texas A&M (3-under 837) and Alabama (6-over 846), Oklahoma State finished third at 10-over 850, with Baylor fourth at 12-over 852 and Illinois at 13-over 853.
DAY ONE REPORT
The season is still young but No. 19 Alabama has been impressive. In their season opening tournament last week, the Carpet Capital Collegiate, the Crimson Tide finished second after losing a playoff to Georgia Tech and now at the Fighting Illini Invitational they are once again in position to win. With a second consecutive even-par round at Olympia Fields Country Club Alabama is currently in the drivers seat and leading the way by three shots with one day of golf remaining.
Pacing the Alabama charge thus far is junior Davis Riley. The native of Hattiesburg, MS is presently 7-under and leading the individual race by a shot over Nick Hardy of Illinois and Shintaro Ban of UNLV. Texas A&M's Josh Gliege is fourth at 4-under while Braden Bailey of Baylor, Jonathan Hardee of Alabama and Zach Bauchou of Oklahoma State are 3-under and rounding out the top-5 of the medalist standings.
Riley started his weekend off with a 4-under 66 on Friday before firing a 3-under 67 in Saturday's second round. Coming off a sophomore year that saw Davis finish in the top-10 three-times, Riley struggled on the front nine Saturday as he bogeyed twice and didn't record a birdie. Look to right the ship on the second nine Riley birdied the 10th hole, the first of his five birdie on a bogey-free 5-under 50 side of golf. In addition to his birdie on No. 10 Riley recorded circles on Nos. 11, 13, 16 and 18.
The only other member of the Alabama roster currently under-par after 36-holes is Hardee who at 3-under is tied for fifth.
Chasing Alabama in the team standings is No. 4 Baylor (+3) in second, No. 16 Texas A&M (+6) playing without Cameron Champ occupies the third spot while No. 1 Oklahoma State (+7) and host No. 5 Illinois (+7) are in fifth.
Overall the Fighting Illini Invitational includes 10 of the 15 teams were in the preseason Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll.
ABOUT THE Fighting Illini Invitational
54-hole elite collegiate event hosted at Olympia
Country Club by the University of Illinois. Olympia
Fields has hosted the 2015 U.S. Amateur. two U.S.
Opens, two PGA Championships, five Western Opens
and a U.S. Senior Open.
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