2020 has been different for everyone because of the pandemic, including athletes of all ages and skill levels. Individual sports like golf and tennis have been gaining popularity this summer due to their independent nature and parent’s desire to keep kids active and safe. Although seemingly solitary, golf is a wonderful avenue to building great friendships, even between competitors. Maybe it could even lead to two junior rivals becoming roommates while playing professional golf and then qualifying for the U.S. Open together!
The U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in men’s professional golf and had to be rescheduled from its traditional Father’s Day dates to September 17-20 due to the pandemic.
Davis Riley, born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Will Zalatoris, born in San Francisco, CA used to compete against each other in junior golf and were even U.S. Junior finalists together! Now, they share a place in Dallas, Texas chasing their dreams to play on the PGA Tour. In their mid-twenties, the roommates turned professional in 2018 (Zalatoris) and 2019 (Riley) to compete on the Korn Ferry Tour – the development tour to the PGA.
When they are not competing on the Korn Ferry Tour they practice pushing each other to become better. And it has paid off. Both Riley and Zalatoris qualified for this year’s U.S. Open and are expected to be playing on the PGA Tour in 2021. Great young players to watch!
“At the end of the day, we want to see each other do really well,” Riley said. “It’s cool that we’ve both gotten off to really good starts so far. Hopefully, when it’s all said and done, we’ll be teeing it up on the PGA TOUR.”
The U.S. Open is contested over four days. Zalatoris played steady golf and finished tied for sixth place against the best golfers in the world! Riley did not make the cut after the first two rounds after struggling the first day of competition. Both players will most definitely take this experience and grow to become stronger players. Look for them in future events and for many years to come.
Don’t forget the Masters in Augusta, Georgia has also been rescheduled for November 12 – 15. Following the tournament here: https://www.masters.com/index.html