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Riley looks for first PGA Tour win

Former UNLV star Chris Riley figures he has as good of a chance as anyone to win the Reno-Tahoe Open after his third-place finish last week in the PGA Championship.

``I'm looking for good things this week, too. I don't see any reason why I can't win this week,'' Riley said Wednesday. ``It would be great, especially to win in my home state of Nevada.''

Riley is 29th on the money list with $1,231,687. He tied for fifth in the Western Open and John Deere Classic and has earned more than $700,000 in the last two months.

``A couple of extra putts are falling,'' Riley said. ``My 71s are turning into 69s. I've continued to be on a roll.''

He was paired with Tiger Woods in the third round of the PGA at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.

``We shot the same score (72),'' Riley said. ``Playing with the No. 1 player in the world on the weekend at a major and tying him can't do anything but boost your confidence.''

The 28-year-old Las Vegas resident who graduated from UNLV in 1996 with a degree in communications grew up playing junior golf with Woods in San Diego but has never beaten him.

``I've known him since I was 10 years old. I'm not really intimidated,'' Riley said. ``The main thing I had to do was not catch myself watching him play. He's fun to watch.

``In the junior world championships when were 17 in 1991, I had a three-shot lead with seven holes to go. He beat me by one or two. ... I'm still waiting for that day I can return the favor.''

Young players Charles Howell III and Aaron Baddeley also are in the field along with major champions Mark O'Meara, Corey Pavin and Lee Janzen, Mark Brooks, Bob Tway and Craig Stadler, who formerly lived at nearby Lake Tahoe.

John Cook, the 2001 winner, and other past Reno champions Scott Verplank and Notah Begay III are skipping the tournament to play in the World Golf Championship event in Sammamish, Wash.

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