17 May 2024

Xander Schaufelle matches record for three-shot lead at Valhalla

17 May 2024

Xander Schauffele took a record-equalling three-shot lead into the second round of the US PGA Championship after again writing his name into the history books at Valhalla.

For the second time in 11 months, Schauffele matched the lowest score in men’s major championship history, the Olympic champion recording nine birdies in a flawless 62 to match the mark set by Branden Grace in the 2017 Open.

Grace’s feat was equalled by Rickie Fowler and Schauffele himself in the opening round of last year’s US Open, although neither man went on to lift the title at Los Angeles Country Club.

“It feels great,” Schauffele said. “It’s just day one, but if someone had said I was going to shoot nine under, I would certainly have taken it.

“I’ve been playing some really good golf, having a lot of close calls, so me and my team say why not keep chugging along?”

Despite such a low score, Schauffele was only three shots clear of compatriots Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala, with Rory McIlroy and Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre part of a five-strong group on five under.

World number one Scottie Scheffler and defending champion Brooks Koepka both shot 67, while Jon Rahm fought back from four over par after six holes to return a 70.

Only three players have held a three-shot lead after the opening round of the US PGA, Dick Hart (1963), Bobby Nichols (1964) and Raymond Floyd (1982). Hart was the only one not to go on and lift the Wanamaker Trophy.

Quote of the day

“When you’re playing with one of the easiest nine unders you’ve ever seen, it makes you feel like you’re shooting a million” – Justin Thomas after carding an opening 69 and losing by seven shots to playing partner Xander Schauffele.

Shot of the day

Playing his first competitive round after three weeks off, Scheffler found the opening fairway and then holed out from 167 yards for an eagle.

Round of the day

There have been just four rounds of 62 in men’s major championship history and Schauffele has recorded half of them.

Statistic of the day

Top statistician Justin Ray highlights how good Scheffler’s ball-striking has been in the game’s biggest events.

Easiest hole

The par-five 18th was the easiest hole, yielding two eagles, 78 birdies and just 12 scores over par for an average of 4.56

Hardest hole

The 493-yard par four-second hole was the hardest in round one, with 17 birdies, 46 bogeys and seven double bogeys or worse – including an eight for Michael Block – leading to a scoring average of 4.29.

Weather forecast

Morning showers will be likely to start the day, with a slight chance for thunderstorms. Showers will continue throughout the day with thunderstorms becoming possible during the afternoon hours. Partly cloudy skies and dry weather return Sunday into Monday with highs in the mid-80s.

Key tee times (all BST)

1348 – Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Scottie Scheffler1818 – Ludvig Aberg, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas1829 – Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley1840 – Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose

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