Xander Schauffele wins PGA Championship at Valhalla, claims first-career major title

Xander Schauffele celebrates winning the PGA Championship.

Xander Schauffele birdied the 18th hole to win the PGA Championship.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Xander Schauffele had a big monkey to get off his back at Valhalla this week.

The World No. 3 had been playing some of the best golf in the world by anyone not named Scottie Scheffler, but had no wins to show for it. Just last Sunday, Schauffele moved to two-for-eight in his career in converting 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour, as Rory McIlroy zoomed by him to win the Wells Fargo Championship. Schauffele hadn’t won since July 2022.

This week at Valhalla, he flipped the script. Schauffele led after each of the first three rounds, having set the early pace in Derby City with a major championship record-tying 62 on Thursday.

Then on Sunday, the day that had plagued him so often on the biggest stages, Schaffele came out of the gates strong and kept up the pace. He finished with a six-under 65 to set a new major championship record of 21 under and win the PGA Championship by a shot over Bryson DeChambeau.

DeChambeau made a dramatic 11-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to post 20 under, forcing Schauffele to make a matching birdie to avoid a playoff. Despite leaving his tee shot in an awkward position on the lip of a fairway bunker on the par-5 finisher, Schauffele roped an iron just short and left of the green. From there, he pitched to six feet and made the putt. When the ball rattled in, Schauffele threw his hands in the air in a rare show of emotion.

“I was actually kind of emotional after the putt lipped in,” Schauffele said afterward. “It’s been a while since I’ve won, and I really just— I kept saying it all week, I just need to stay in my lane.

“Man, was it hard to stay in my lane today, but I tried all day to just keep focus on what I’m trying to do and keep every hole ahead of me.”

He then turned to embrace Austin Kaiser, his longtime caddie and former college teammate at San Diego State.

It’s the first career major victory for Schauffele, who had 11 previous top-10 finishes in golf’s four biggest events, including runner-ups at the 2018 Open Championship and 2019 Masters, the former coming after he held a share of the 54-hole lead, as he did this week in Kentucky.

Schauffele’s co-lead with Collin Morikawa Sunday didn’t last long as Schauffele opened by just barely flying the bunker short of the first green and then drilling a 27-footer to take the outright lead.

Xander Schauffele of the United States poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 19, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.
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He added three more birdies on the front nine before a bogey on the par-5 10th, one of Valhalla’s easiest holes, dropped him back into a tie, this time with Viktor Hovland.

Hovland, who revealed he considered skipping the PGA Championship this week after a poor start to the 2024 season, found his game at Valhalla and made six birdies in nine holes between Nos. 5 and 13 to pull out ahead of Schauffele at 19 under. Playing in the same group, DeChambeau nearly matched him shot for shot and was just a shot behind, tied with Schauffele.

Schauffele rebounded by stuffing his next two approaches at the par-3 11th and par-4 12th inside 10 feet and converting both birdie putts to get to 20 under with six holes to play.

DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open winner, finished off his final-round 64 by throwing a dart of a second shot at 16 inside four feet; benefiting from a fortunate bounce from the left trees on his tee shot on 17; and then birdieing 18, the easiest hole at Valhalla this week, from the left fairway bunker.

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Hovland had a chance to match DeChambeau at 20 under on 18, but missed from 10 feet and then missed his par effort to finish at 18 under in solo third. He was the runner-up last year at Oak Hill.

After getting up and down from the right side of the 17th green to stay tied with DeChambeau, Schauffele navigated an awkward lie on the lip of the same fairway bunker that DeChambeau had played from to get his second shot by the green. From short left, Schauffele hit a bump and run that checked and stopped six feet below the hole, from where he was able to get the putt to curl in from the left side of the cup.

“I think I’d probably be a little bit less of a patient person if that putt didn’t lip in, but I really didn’t want to go into a playoff against Bryson,” Schauffele joked.

The 2024 PGA Championship was defined by low scoring all week as it became the first major ever to have two players finish at 20 under or better. Not only did Schauffele’s 21 under become a new record in relation to par, but his 263 total also set a new major aggregate record.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com 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 jack.hirsh@golf.com.



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