PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Alabama men’s golfer Davis Riley dropped a back-and-forth match to Devon Bling of UCLA in the quarterfinals of the 2018 United States Amateur Championship. The duo was all square as they walked to the tee box at Hole No. 18, but Riley missed a par putt, while Bling drained a six-footer to win the match and advance to the semifinals.
Riley’s run to the quarterfinals began with a 2&1 victory over Ryan Burnett on Wednesday in the round of 64. The Hattiesburg, Miss., native followed that with a pair of wins on Thursday, defeating No.1-seed Daniel Hillier, 5-and-4, followed by capturing a victory on the 21st hole over Arkansas’ Mason Overstreet.
In Friday’s quarterfinal match, Riley took an early lead with a par on the second hole, but Bling answered with a birdie on the par 4 fourth hole to draw even. However, Riley dropped a birdie putt on the par 3 seventh hole to regain a 1-hole lead.
The lead stayed that way until Bling birdied the 11th hole to square the match. Riley won the 12th hole, but Bling again responded by winning No. 13. After Riley moved back ahead on No. 15, Bling would answer with a birdie on the 16th hole, setting up the dramatic victory on the final hole.
It marked the second consecutive impressive performance in an amateur event by the Crimson Tide senior captain. Earlier in the month, he reached the championship match at the prestigious Western Amateur before falling to Texas’ Cole Hammer.