Davis Riley Reveals His Biggest Takeaway From the Valspar Championship: ‘I Don’t Have to Be Perfect’

Published 03/23/2022, 7:07 AM EDT
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA – JUNE 20: Davis Riley tees off on the eighth hole during the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour’s The King & Bear Classic at World Golf Village on the King & Bear Golf Course on June 20, 2020 in St. Augustine, Florida. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Davis Riley at the 2022 Valspar Championship was a surprise for the golf world. As a PGA Tour rookie, the golfer shocked everyone with his ability to go against the world’s top golfers. While the golf world got to learn a lot about him through the tournament, he, too, learned a valuable lesson from his first-ever PGA event. 


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“Just knowing that I don’t have to be perfect to win a golf tournament was one of the biggest takeaways,” Riley said after the tournament ended. 

Riley had ended up hitting a triple bogey on par-5 fifth hole on the final day of the tournament. However, he overcame that with a birdie on the 17th. Moreover, he battled the defending champion, Sam Burns, in the playoff. 

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Although he lost to Burns in the playoff, his performance was more than enough for a Tour rookie on a first event. Sam Burns won the tournament after he successfully made a 33-footer birdie putt on the 16th hole in the second playoff. Burns had won the tournament last year with a clear three-shot lead. 

The experience at the Valspar Championship became a confidence booster for Davis Riley

“I’ve just got to be me,” Riley said to the press. “And ‘me’ is good enough to compete at the highest level.” 


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Riley had impressed the golf world with his golfing ability since he teed off in the first round. He continued to show off his skill since he finished on the top of the Valspar Championship leaderboard after the third round. His 9-under 62 was the second-best score in the tournament’s history. 


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Not only fans, but even his colleagues from the event complimented him for his exceptional showcase of talent. “It was really impressive,” said Justin Thomas, with whom Riley was paired in the third round. “It’s a big moment for a rookie. He handled it like a rock star,” Thomas added. 

As a rookie golfer on the PGA Tour, what Riley did surprised the golf world entirely. The 25-year-old gained confidence from the Championship as he understood how his golfing skills could beat the world’s top golfers. 



Anjana Prabhakaran

1156 articles

Anjana Prabhakaran is a Golf content writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Master's degree in Public Administration and considers researching as one of her hobbies. As her family is interested in sports, Anjana grew up watching every sport on television.

Edited By: Melroy Fernandes