Sanderson Farms Championship

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Davis Riley

Press Conference

Q. Davis, good start to the week. Nice little sizzling 66, as they say. What was clicking for you out there today?

DAVIS RILEY: I didn't have the best day with my driver, but when I did hit the fairway, I felt like I gave myself a really good opportunity to hit some nice approaches in there.

Hit a couple of really nice ones on the par-3s. Snagged a birdie or two on the par-3s, which is always nice. Pretty stress-free. When I was out of position, I either left myself a pretty simple 2-putt from 40-feet or a pretty simple leave to get up and in. Pretty stress-free day, and hopefully I can continue more of that.

Q. Are you surprised that you are the lowest score out there based on how the course was playing, or do you feel like you played indicative of having the best score of the day?

DAVIS RILEY: Yeah, I feel like I played really solid. It was pretty windy all day, and I know it was definitely cool this morning. I feel like it was hard to get really, really close to a lot of pins just because the greens were rolling out, the wind up there.

It's hard to have a ton of opportunities, but yeah, I felt like I had a really solid day. The way I was playing, I feel like if I just kept going on, I would be pretty close to up there. To keep it stress-free was really nice.

Q. Does your mind think back to those days playing in high school at all during the round, or do you kind of keep those thoughts at bay while you are walking around there?

DAVIS RILEY: It plays a little different. We talked about this earlier. I had memories of probably when I was hitting it hardly out of my shadow and having head cover into every par-4 out here. So, it plays a little different.

Obviously, the greens maybe being a touch faster and the rough. It's a completely different golf course from high school. I do have fond memories here individually and as a high school team we had success here. It's cool coming back to a place that you have some good memories and good familiarity with.

Q. I was about to say, you mentioned yesterday, too, this was your fifth major. When you say stuff like that, do you feel as if it puts any extra pressure on you to perform well here, or do you just try to go into the tournament with the same mindset as you do the other ones?

DAVIS RILEY: It does, and I think that's probably why I haven't played my best golf here in the past just because it's right down the road. I have so many friends and family here. I want to perform. It just would be a really, really special tournament to win.

Yeah, that's the thing. I just have to take it day-by-day and treat it like every other tournament. It's easy to put that added pressure on yourself, but I just think that hinders you from playing your best golf. Why I haven't played my best here in the past.

I'm going to take it day-by-day and continue the stress-free golf that I played today.

Q. You mentioned your family. Was that them who you were saying hi to after you finished up?

DAVIS RILEY: Yeah, my mom and dad are here. I have my head master/golf coach in high school who is here as well. My sister is in from New York watching this week, too. Then I'll have some more and more friends coming out in the next couple of days hopefully. Yeah, I've got a lot of people here I know and good family and friends.

Q. Do you ever get more nervous because, obviously, family can't make it to every single tournament. Do you get more nervous when you have people that you know watching you, or is it something since you have had that pretty much your whole life is it something that makes it easier to play?

DAVIS RILEY: I wouldn't say it's one way or the other. My parents traveled so much with me in Junior Golf and college golf. Obviously, getting to the pros they cake make it every week, but it's comforting.

To have my parents here supporting me and watching me. Because I don't get to see them as much as I used to, it's nice catching up with them. My sister as well. Just catching up with family. It definitely relaxes me, I think. It's just a level of comfort there that you don't have every week.

Q. You ever been this cold at a tournament in September?

DAVIS RILEY: I was thinking about it. The last few times I've played here, it's been blistering 95 I feel like every day. You know, this morning you almost felt like you needed a jacket. It was a different feel than South Mississippi in September. It was a little different than what I'm used to.

Yeah, I'm not complaining. I love the cool weather, and any time I can get it just being in Dallas and South Mississippi, I get enough of that heat.

Q. Making the playoffs, how much did that boost your confidence?

DAVIS RILEY: Yeah, for sure, making the playoffs. Obviously, wanted to make East Lake. Just came short of that.

To make it to the St. Jude and to the BMW was a pretty big accomplishment being a rookie, and having multiple chances to win golf tournaments was really cool and gave me a lot of confidence.

Like I've said, I felt like I turned a page at the Valspar. It's one of those things that in the back of my head I felt like I could do, get up there and have a chance to win a golf course. And then to do it and do well in the moment, it gave me a lot of confidence. Ever since then you get that taste of getting so close to victory, you just want to get back as soon as possible.

Q. You think the number of family and friends that are here are going to grow after this round today?

DAVIS RILEY: I think so, yeah. I know I've got a bunch of hometown friends that are working Thursday and Friday and have got jobs, but I know they're probably going to be coming out tomorrow and hopefully into the weekend. I think a lot of people will show, and it will be fun to see.

Q. When you know you have so many friends planning to come on the weekend, does that give you a little extra push to play better to have that later tee time, and can you channel that a little bit and have fun with that?

DAVIS RILEY: It definitely does, but like you said, there's a lot of golf. I still have to take care of tomorrow and continue the good play. And hopefully if I just keep having good intention each day and each shot, I hopefully will have a late tee time. I'm just going to try to continue the process that I'm doing and keep it going.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125284-1-1878 2022-09-29 23:17:00 GMT

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