‘It’s super sweet’, says Schauffele as the putt of his life helps add major silverware to his Olympic gold

The American birdies the 18th for a one-shot victory over LIV Golf's DeChambeau to reach a career-best second spot in the world rankings

By Reuters

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Xander Schauffele celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday. - USA TODAY Sports
Xander Schauffele celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday. - USA TODAY Sports

Published: Mon 20 May 2024, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Mon 20 May 2024, 6:54 PM

Xander Schauffele finally added some elusive silverware to his Olympic gold, shedding the title of golf's nearly man on Sunday with a dramatic birdie on the final hole to win the PGA Championship and hoist the massive Wanamaker Trophy.

A week after squandering a two-shot lead in the final round at the Wells Fargo, Schauffele took the same advantage onto the back nine at the Valhalla Golf Club but this time would not fold, holding his nerve and claiming his maiden major title with a pressure-packed six-foot putt.


"I was pretty nervous," admitted Schauffele. "I kept reading it, kept kind of panning. I thought, oh, my gosh, this is not what I want for a winning putt.

Schauffele exults after sinking a pressure-packed six-foot putt on the final hole at Valhalla Golf Club. - USA TODAY Sports
Schauffele exults after sinking a pressure-packed six-foot putt on the final hole at Valhalla Golf Club. - USA TODAY Sports

"I ended up playing it straight. I don't really remember it lipping in, I just heard everyone roaring and I just looked up to the sky in relief."


"This is awesome. It's super sweet.

That birdie earned Schauffele a one-shot decision over Bryson DeChambeau and his first win since the 2022 Scottish Open. With an Olympic title, seven PGA Tour victories and ranked number three in the world, Schauffele has long been rated among golf's very best.

DeChambeau carded a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 to finish two shots ahead of Viktor Hovland (66), whose spirited effort to become the first Norwegian to win a major came undone at the final hole.

Xander Schauffele went wire-to-wire at the PGA Championship to win first major. - USA TODAY Sports
Xander Schauffele went wire-to-wire at the PGA Championship to win first major. - USA TODAY Sports

DeChambeau and Hovland were playing in the third-to-last pairing and set up pressure-packed 10-foot birdie putts on the final hole. DeChambeau drained his but Hovland's effort curled away and he went on to make bogey and finish third.

That left the outcome in the hands of Schauffele, who was playing the par-four 17th where he did well to save par after his tee shot caught a fairway bunker before sealing the deal at the 18th while DeChambeau watched it unfold on a nearby screen.

DeChambeau handled the defeat with the utmost class as the 2020 U.S. Open champion, who had been warming up in anticipation of going to a three-hole aggregate score playoff, took time to find Schauffele and congratulate him.

Bryson DeChambeau chips in on the 18th hole the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club.  -USA TODAY Sports
Bryson DeChambeau chips in on the 18th hole the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. -USA TODAY Sports

"It's cool to see him - not only he's just a great human being, but an unbelievable golfer, and it shows this week. Super happy for him," said DeChambeau.

"On my side of the coin, disappointing, but, whatever. I played well. Didn't strike it at my best all week. Felt like I had my 'B' game pretty much."

But despite his immense talent the 30-year-old Schauffele had, until Sunday, been unable to close the deal at the majors, posting 12 top-10 results, including runner-up finishes at the Masters and British Open.

Emotional scenes as the Valhalla Golf Club. - USA TODAY Sports
Emotional scenes as the Valhalla Golf Club. - USA TODAY Sports

After going on to lose to Rory McIlroy by five shots at the Wells Fargo this month, Schauffele played like a man on a mission in Louisville, posting a wire-to-wire win that began with an opening round 62 that equalled the lowest score ever at a major.

For the seething gallery at Valhalla, there was a foreboding sense of deja vu building as the back nine unfolded.

Schauffele reached the turn clinging to a two-shot lead that vanished by the time he walked off the 10th green where his par putt lipped out shortly after Norway's Viktor Hovland, playing two groups ahead, birdied the par-four 12th.

Hovland then poured in another birdie putt at 13 to snatch the outright lead piling the pressure on Schauffele.

But a determined Schauffele, unfazed by his bogey, refused to back down from the challenge and flashed his resolve, hitting right back with birdies at the 11th and 12th holes to regain the outright lead that he would never surrender.

"All those close calls for me, even last week, that sort of feeling, it gets to you at some point," said Schauffele. "Definitely a chip on the shoulder there.

"It's just fuel, fuel to my fire. It always has been growing up, and it certainly was leading up to this."

With the win, Schauffele will move up to number two in the world rankings but said the climb to the summit goes on.

"All of us are climbing this massive mountain," said Schauffele. "At the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler.

Viktor Hovland reacts after a putt at the PGA Championship. Hovland was bidding to become the first Norwegian to win a major USA TODAY Sports
Viktor Hovland reacts after a putt at the PGA Championship. Hovland was bidding to become the first Norwegian to win a major USA TODAY Sports

"I won this today, but I'm still not that close to Scottie Scheffler in the big scheme of things. I got one good hook up there in the mountain up on that cliff, and I'm still climbing.”

Defending champion Brooks Koepka, who began the day 11 shots behind the co-leaders, had five birdies through his first 12 holes en route to a five-under-par 66 while Jordan Spieth, who began the day seven shots off the lead and with an outside chance of completing the career Grand Slam of golf's four majors, closed with a 73.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who has been stuck at four majors since his 2014 PGA Championship triumph at Valhalla, began his day seven shots back of the co-leaders and settled for a share of 12th after a four-under-par 67.

Final leaderboard

1. Xander Schauffele (-21)

2. Bryson DeChambeau (-20)

3. Viktor Hovland (-18)

T4. Thomas Detry (-15)

T4. Collin Morikawa

T6. Justin Rose (-14)

T6. Shane Lowry

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