June 2 2011
DUBLIN, Ohio – Chris Riley has never made the cut at the Memorial Tournament. In fact, he’d never broken par in six previous rounds at Muirfield Village.
But the same Chris Riley grabbed the clubhouse lead on Thursday with a round of 66 that included eight birdies – including a 4-footer on his final hole – and just two bogeys. The veteran hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens while using just 25 putts.
The round of 6 under matches his low on TOUR this year, shot three times, most recently in the first round of last week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. Riley, who played in the first group off the 10th tee on Thursday, was two strokes ahead of D.A. Points, Steve Stricker and Rickie Fowler when he finished.
Riley’s best finish of the year came in his 2011 debut when he tied for ninth at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He hasn’t finished higher than 39th in 12 tournaments since so Thursday’s start is a welcome one.