PGA Championship 2024: Xander Schauffele shoots opening 62, ties all-time major scoring record

pga championship 2024: xander schauffele shoots opening 62, ties all-time major scoring record

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 16: Xander Schauffele of the United States reacts on the fourth green during the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 16, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A year ago at the U.S. Open, Xander Schauffele became just the third player in men’s major championship history to shoot a 62 in a single round. On Thursday at the 2024 PGA Championship, he became the first player to shoot two 62s.

Schauffele, 30, opened the first round at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., with a bogey-free nine-under 62, the lowest 18-hole round in the history of the PGA Championship. Scores from the morning wave at the 106th PGA were low as the course, while playing a stout 7,506 yards, is soft and proving scoreable given recent rains in the area. Still, Schuaffele’s score was three shots clear of the next best round when he finished.

"It feels great," Schauffele said. "It's just day 1. But if somebody tells me I'd shoot nine under today, I'd definitely take it."

Schauffele, runner-up last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, had a chance to go even lower as he eyed a 32-foot birdie try on his final hole, the par-4 ninth at Valhalla, to post a 61. But he misread the putt and had to “settle” for a par that still made history.

Branden Grace shot the first 62 in a men’s major at the during the third round of the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Then last year at Los Angeles Country Club, Rickie Fowler shot the first 62 in U.S. Open history, only to have Schuaffele match the score less than a half hour later.

Prior to Thursday, there had been 18 rounds posted by 17 golfers of 63 posted in the PGA Championship, the first coming from Bruce Crampton in 1975 at Firestone and the most recent from Bubba Watson in 2022 at Southern Hills. Ray Floyd, Gary Player, Jose Maria Olazabal, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka (twice) are among the others to hold the record that Schuaffele broke.

“I’m very happy with how I played," Schauffele said. "I’m very content with the shots I hit and the putts I rolled. You know, can’t really take much more of it. I’ve got to go tee it up again tomorrow.”

Schauffele's best score in 24 previous rounds at the PGA was a 66 in the first round of the 2020 championship at TPC Harding Park. That year he also posted his best career finish in the event (T-10).

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