2024 PGA Champion: Xander Schauffele

by | May 19, 2024 | Pro News

Xander Schauffele Wins 2024 PGA Championship For First Major

It’s not easy to win a major championship wire-to-wire, but Xander Schauffele pulled it off on May 19 when he birdied the 18th hole at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville to win the 2024 PGA Championship. It was the 30-year-old’s first major championship.

Schauffele’s birdie left him at six-under-65 for the day and 21-under-par through 72 holes – one ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, who shot a final round 64. Viktor Hovland’s fina-round 66 left him in third place at 18-under. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who was arrested this past Friday early after an alleged altercation with Louisville police outside of Valhalla Golf Club, carded a final-round 65 (-13) to finish T8.

Schauffele’s 72-round total of 263 was the lowest 72-hole score to win a major since Henrik Stenson won the 2016 Open at 264.

“I knew I had to birdie the last hole, looking up at the board,’’ Schauffele said. “It was a hectic birdie, as well, but it was awesome. I kept telling myself, I need to earn this; I need to prove this to myself, and this is my time.

“I stayed very patient. I was looking up at the board. There have been times when I tried to look away from it until the back nine, but today I was looking at it. I just wanted to be aware of everything. I wanted to know exactly where I stood.’’

Where he stands now is being the latest man to shake off the reputation as the “best player without a major.’’

“It’s just noise,’’ Schauffele said. “That’s what I think. Not that people saying it made me think that. I just felt like I’ve done enough work; I’m good enough to do it. I just needed to shut my mind up and actually do it.’’

As for Scheffler, the two-time Masters champion said, “I did my best’’ to leave Friday morning behind going into the final round.

“The support I got from the fans was amazing,’’ Scheffler said. “I think they were cheering extra loud for me this week, and I got a lot of support from the players and caddies as well. A lot of people showing their support, a lot of players telling me how much they love me and stuff like that, and like I said, I’m really grateful to have the community that we have out here and the support of the people inside the ropes for sure.’’

Round 3 Notes

Louisville’s Churchill Downs is known for its photo finishes at the Kentucky Derby. Today’s fourth round of the 2024 PGA Championship, at nearby Valhalla Golf Club, could have golf’s equivalent of a photo finish, as Xander Schauffele and Colin Morikawa are tied at 15 under, one 1stroke ahead of Sahith Theegala.

A tidal of 13 players are within five shots of the lead, including Shame Lowry, whose third-round nine-under-par 62 left him at 13-under, tied with Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland.

I changed my putter at the Zurich Classic,’’ Lowry said. “I feel like I’ve sort of changed up how I’ve been practicing the last two weeks, sort of getting away from the technical side of it and just trying to hole putts and just doing a lot of drills. But yeah, it’s nice to finally see a few going in the hole because it’s been a slow year for me on the greens. It’s been nice to see it this week.

“I feel like tee-to-green; I’ve been as good as I’ve ever been this year, and then I come out the first two days…it was probably the worst I’ve played in a long time, but my putter kept me going, and kept me in the tournament. Then I went to the range with my coach yesterday afternoon, and sort of — it was just an alignment issue. I was set up too far left, and all sorts of bad things happen for me when I do that.’’

Day 2: A Wild Day at Valhalla

Tiger Woods missed the cut, and Scottie Scheffler went to jail. Other than those two things, Friday was just another day at the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY.

Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 ranked player, was arrested and briefly jailed early on May 17 as he attempted to get into Valhalla following a fatal traffic near the club. Scheffler was handcuffed and detained for allegedly not following a police officer’s instructions. But he was out in time to card a five-under-par 66, which put him in fourth place (nine under after 36 holes) going into Saturday’s second round. Xander Schauffele shot a second-round,  three-under 68 to go into the third round at 12-under par, followed by Colin Morikawa (-11) and Sahith Theegala (-10).

“My (legal) situation will get handled,’’ Scheffler said. “It was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding. I can’t comment on any of the specifics of it, It was just a big misunderstanding.

“I came here for a golf tournament. I was driving in this morning, trying to get to my warmup time and get ready for the round of golf. I didn’t really have an understanding of what had transpired this morning. My main focus after getting arrested was wondering if I could be able to come back out here and play, and fortunately I was able to do that. It was nice to put together a solid round today, for sure.’’

Playing in the afternoon, Woods carded three triple bogeys en route to a six-over 77. He missed the cut by six shots.
“It was a great week being here, being here at Valhalla,’’ Woods said. ‘’Unfortunately, my scores did not indicate how the people treated me and how great a week I had. Unfortunately, I hit too many shots.’’
Despite not coming to winning the season’s first two majors, Woods expressed confidence that he is getting better – physically and with his game.

“I need to play more. Unfortunately, I just haven’t played a whole lot of tournaments, and not a whole lot of tournaments on my schedule, either. Hopefully, everything will somehow come together in my practice sessions at home and be ready for Pinehurst.’’

Round 1 Notes

Despite finishing the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship 10 shots behind the leader, Tiger Woods maintained a remarkable composure, a testament to his unwavering resilience.

“It’s just the competitive flow,’’ said Woods, whose one-over-par 72 leaves him T85 going into Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. “It took me probably three holes to get back into competitive flow again and get a feel for hitting the ball out there in competition, adrenaline, temperatures, green speeds. These are all things that I normally adjust to very quickly, and it just took me a few holes to get into it.

“I am getting stronger for sure. It’s just that I don’t play a whole lot of competitive rounds. I haven’t played since the Masters. So it’s a little bit different than being at home and playing a flat Florida course.’’

On the flip side, Xander Schauffele recorded nine birdies to finish as the first-round leader at nine-under 62,  two shots ahead of Tony Finau, Mark Hubard and Sahith Theegala. Rory McIlroy carded a five-under 66.

“It’s a great start to a big tournament,’’ Schaffer said. “ One I’m obviously always going to take. It’s just Thursday. That’s about it.’


About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/steve_pike/" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.