PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele wins title, sets scoring record for major

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Xander Schauffele withstood strong challenges down the stretch to capture his first major golf title in record fashion on Sunday, winning the PGA Championship by sinking a dramatic birdie putt on the final hole.

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Schauffele finished at 21-under-par 263 at Valhalla Golf Club, curling in a 6-footer at No. 18 to finish at 6-under 65 and set a record for the lowest winning score in relation to par.

Bryson DeChambeau finished second, completing his final round with an 11-foot birdie at No. 18 to card a 64 and a 20-under-par total of 264. Viktor Hovland of Norway, also putting for a share of the lead at the 18th, two-putted for a bogey to finish in third place with a 5-under 66 and a 266 total.

Schauffele, 30, avoided trouble at the 17th hole and made par, then had to hit his second shot from the fringe of the rough while standing in the bunker. He put the shot near the green and hit his third shot to within 6 feet of the hole.

Then, as DeChambeau waited on the driving range for a possible three-hole playoff, Schauffele sank the putt to earn the Wanamaker Trophy and his first golf major.

The lowest winning score in relation to par in majors history for a 72-hole tournament had been 20 under par, according to The Athletic. It was set by Jason Day at the 2015 PGA Championship and equaled by Henrik Stenson (2016 British Open), Dustin Johnson (2020 Masters) and Cameron Smith (2022 British Open).

Schauffele withstood the challenges of Hovland and DeChambeau on the front nine Sunday, collecting four birdies. But he bogeyed the 10th hole while Hovland birdied three of his first four holes on the back side to take the lead.

That bogey at No. 10 was the only glitch for Schauffele, who finished with seven birdies on the 7,609 yard course in Louisville, Kentucky.

Schauffele quickly regained the advantage with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 11 and 12.

He put his tee shot at No. 17 into the sand trap, but saved par with a short putt to head into the par-5 18th hole.

Schauffele finished in the top 10 a dozen times at major events before the PGA, according to The Sporting News. He finished second by one shot to Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters and finished tied for second, two shots behind Francesco Molinari, at the 2018 British Open.

DeChambeau was equally impressive on Sunday, carding seven birdies as he attempted to win his second major title. He crept near the lead on the back nine, scoring a pair of birdies to move within a shot of the leaders at one point. Then he grabbed it at No. 18 with a dramatic birdie putt, forcing Schauffele to match the feat.

He did.

Hovland was the first Norwegian to win on the PGA Tour when he won the Puerto Rico Open in 2020. He was bidding to join Henrik Stenson of Sweden -- who won the 2016 British Open -- as the only Scandinavians to win a golf major.

Sunday’s final round began with a tightly bunched field near the lead, with Schauffele and Collin Morikawa tied for the 54-hole lead and 13 other players within five shots, ESPN reported. Six golfers were within three shots of the leaders.

Morikawa won two of his first five major starts as a pro, winning the PGA Championship in 2020 at TPC Harding Park and then the British Open in 2021. But he made only one birdie Sunday -- on his final hole -- to finish at 71 and in a fourth-place tie with Thomas Detry of Belgium.

Bryson DeChambeau

Sahith Theegala, 26, began the final round one shot behind the leaders. The 26-year-old, a standout college golfer at Pepperdine, won his first PGA Tour event at the Fortinet Championship in 2023, according to The Sporting News.

Shane Lowry put himself into contention on Saturday with a 9-under-par 62, missing a birdie attempt on the final hole that would have given him a record for low score at a major tournament. He began the final round two shots off the pace but shot 70 on Sunday to finish in a sixth-place tie at 270.

Hovland and DeChambeau entered the final round tied with Lowry three shots behind the leaders. Hovland has yet to win a major, while DeChambeau captured the 2020 U.S. Open.

DeChambeau had been in the mix at recent majors, tying for sixth at this year’s Masters and finishing in a fourth-place tie at the 2023 PGA Championship.

Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 golfer whose arrest before the second round on Friday came after “a misunderstanding with traffic flow” after he attempted to drive past a police officer after a fatal accident outside the golf course, shot 66 on Friday but fell far off the pace on Saturday when he shot a 2-over-par 71 on Saturday.

He recovered on Sunday to shoot a 6-under 65 to finish at 13-under 271.

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