Xander Schauffele wins PGA Championship for first major

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — They can’t call Xander Schauffele the best golfer in the world without a major championship win.

The 30-year-old from San Diego earned his first major victory over LIV Golf League captain Bryson DeChampeau and Norway’s Viktor Hovland in the final round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday.

Schaffel silenced his critics after starting the final round in a joint-lead with two-time major winner Colin Morikawa. The 72-hole total was 21 under and 1 shot and beat Hovland by 3.

Schaffel posted the lowest 72-hole score and lowest 72-hole score (263) in a major championship.

“I’m actually kind of emotional,” said Schaffel, whose last win was at the Scottish Open in July 2022. It was difficult today to stay in my lane, but I tried to focus on what I was trying to do, and there were some weird breaks coming home, but now everything is good.”

Schaeffel’s first major win gave him his eighth PGA Tour win in his 28th major appearance.

After DeChambeau tied Schauffele at 20 under with a birdie on his 72nd hole, Schauffele matched him in dramatic fashion — becoming the first player since Phil Mickelson at Baltusrol in 2005 to win the BGA Championship by one shot with a birdie on the last hole.

On the par-5 18th, Schaeffel’s tee shot failed to fade and landed across a fairway bunker, leaving him in an awkward position. His ball 239 yards from the sand with both feet, Schaffel rips a long iron. His ball landed 35 yards from the green.

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Chipping up the hill, Schaffel hit his ball cleanly, leaving it 6 feet short of the hole. He calmly putts and throws both hands in the air as his ball lands in the cup.

“I don’t want to go all the way to the playoffs against Bryson,” Schaffel said. “I think we probably would have played 18. That would have been a lot of work. I told myself this is my chance, take it.”

Valhalla Golf Club, known for its exciting results and low scores, has once again delivered. Schaffel had a 1-stroke lead with two holes to play. Shortly after his tee shot bounced into a fairway bunker on the par-4 17th hole, DeCambeau rolled in an 11-foot birdie putt to tie Schaeffel at 20 under.

Schaeffel’s approach on the 17th landed right on the green. He chipped to about 2 feet and par putt to maintain a share of the lead.

DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner, carded a bogey-free 7-under 64, his lowest round at a major, tied for second at 20 under.

“I gave it my all. I tried as hard as I could, and I knew my B game was good enough,” said DeChambeau. “It’s clear that somebody played incredibly well. Sander deserves a major championship.”

Hovland, the defending FedEx Cup champion who has struggled with his swing this season until this week, also had a chance to tie with a 10-foot sinker. But Hovland missed the birdie attempt and came 3-feet back for his first bogey in 41 holes. He finished third in the under-18 category.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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