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Davis Riley (T-1) continues hot streak at Memorial with Justin Thomas' advice

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At the Masters, Jon Rahm said only Justin Thomas gets the good Tiger Woods advice. Thomas, however, might be more generous with suggestions than is the Big Cat. 

Former fellow Alabama Crimson Tide Davis Riley, 25, a PGA Tour rookie, is one of Thomas' lucky mentees. The two have known each other since Riley's college days as Thomas, 29, would return to his alma mater and visit the team.

And now, Thomas has contributed to Riley's recent heater. 

"Justin's been good to me," Riley said after shooting 5-under 67 to claim a share of the Day 1 lead at the Memorial Tournament. "And anytime we play the same week, I try to snag a practice round with him or whatever. But we text back and forth a little bit. I try not to bug him too much. I know he's busy. So am I. 

"But every now and then I have a question, he's cool helping me out being as helpful as possible, and he's certainly been a good guy to be able to bounce ideas off of."

Full-field scores from the Memorial Tournament

At the Valspar Championship in March, Riley fell to Sam Burns in a playoff, of which Thomas was one stroke away from being a part. Afterward, Thomas said Riley was a "great player," and was rooting for him to prevail in the playoff. 

"When I finished regulation play (at Valspar), [Thomas] came up to me and said, 'Hey, reset, this is a different ball game.' And that was kind of nice," Riley said. "And it's easy to kind of think — because I had that putt on 18. It's easy to harp on that and be like I wish I had made that putt. But it was a nice refreshing moment, a good moment to reset. And it's been really cool."

Though Riley is still looking for his maiden Tour win, in his last five starts, he's posted three top-5s, a T-9, plus a T-13 at the PGA Championship, which Thomas won. 

At the Mexico Open, Riley finished two shots behind Rahm, who won. Last week at Colonial, Riley shared the lead Sunday on the back nine, but then carded two bogeys and a double and was two shots back of Burns at the end of regulation. 

"It's like I'm doing the right stuff," Riley, the world No. 94, said. "I've just got to keep on doing it. It's like eventually it will happen."

In a six-way tie for the top spot at Muirfield Village with Cam Smith, Luke List, K.H. Lee, Mackenzie Hughes and fellow rookie Cameron Young , Riley has put himself in position, again, to finally break through. 

And if Riley can get that coveted first victory, he has an idea of whose path he'd like to follow after. 

"I think (Thomas and my) games are similar, but he's certainly got a lot of wins that I'm trying to catch up to," Riley said. "I like to think our games are pretty similar. I think they are in a sense. He's definitely somebody I look up to a lot and would like to mirror my game after."