Records shatter on birdie-filled Thursday at PGA | Seen and Heard at Valhalla Day 4

Welcome to’s “Seen & Heard” video series, in which we give you an inside look at golf’s biggest events through the eyes and ears of our onsite crew. On deck this week: the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Let’s go!

ICYMI: Jon Rahm’s PGA Tour flirtation, PGA arrivals | Seen and Heard at Valhalla Days 1 & 2
ICYMI: Rory McIlroy’s striking PGA appearance, Tiger Woods hunting | Seen and Heard at Valhalla Day 3

Thursday at the PGA Championship means it’s “go time” for some of the best players in the world and with soft conditions, that could mean bad news for fans of a challenge to golf’s elite.

As the GOLF gang huddled Wednesday evening, Sean Zak said he heard caddies talking about a “scary number” and that 20 under could win the tournament.

Well, Xander Schauffele nearly got halfway there in Round 1, tearing apart the course in an opening-round 62. Schaffuele is just the fourth player to shoot 62 in a major and is the first to do it since his own 62 last year at LACC at the U.S. Open.

xander schauffele smiles at the PGA Championship next to caddie
The weird reality of Xander Schauffele’s record-breaking PGA Championship start
By: James Colgan

“I’m not going to nitpick. I’ll take a 62 in any major any day,” Schauffele said when asked to pick which was better.

Schauffele wasn’t the only star to feast on an easy Valhalla Thursday morning. Rory McIlroy shot a five-under 66 despite maybe not having the “A” game we saw when he ran away from the field at Quail Hollow last week. Brooks Koepka shot what James Colgan called the “quietest four under of the day.”

“Just stay patient,” Koepka said. “That’s what majors are all about, I think. And you can’t win it today, but you just try to hang around and give yourself a chance come Sunday.”

Elsewhere, Colgan tracked down Talor Gooch on the driving range late Thursday evening. Gooch is perhaps the most controversial invite to this year’s tournament after claiming earlier this season that if anyone were to win the grand slam without him in the field, there would be an asterisk by it. Gooch was not invited to the Masters and is declining to qualify for the U.S. Open.

talor gooch stares at the PGA Championship in a white hat and blue shirt
At the PGA Championship, golf’s most controversial invite has a lot to say
By: James Colgan

“I just think that the best thing for the majors to continue to be the upper-echelon of professional golf is to figure out how to get the best players in the world in the field,” he told Colgan after his even-par 71 in the first round. “I think the PGA did a great thing in inviting me, and hopefully it’ll open a door to what the future looks like.”

Sean Zak was reflecting on the emotional press conference of Robert MacIntyre after his five-under 66 to get in contention. MacIntyre moved from Scotland to Orlando after earning his PGA Tour card through the DP World Tour last season.

“It’s no secret I’ve been living in America. It’s been tough. It’s not like Oban,” MacIntyre said. “When I go back home, it’s a lot of friends and family you get to spend time with, my nieces, everyone that’s close to me and really cares for me.”

And with that, Thursday came to a close. It was an action-packed day full of low scoring. With rain in the forecast for Friday, certainly nothing could top the excitement, right?

To catch up on all the GOLF team’s activities at Valhalla, check out the full video above — and stay tuned for more Seen & Heard throughout the week.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at