Home Sport Schauffele’s breakthrough win came from staying in his lane

Schauffele’s breakthrough win came from staying in his lane

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Xander Schauffele, who had 12 prior top-10 Major finishes without a victory, had not won an event since the 2022 Scottish Open, having had 19 top-10 PGA Tour finishes during his drought. But he matched the lowest round in Major history with a nine-under 62 on Thursday and was equal to the challenge on Sunday.

Xander Schauffele of the US lifts the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2024 PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, 19 May 2024. Picture: EPA, ERIK S LESSER

Xander Schauffele out-duelled Bryson DeChambeau down the back nine on Sunday to win the PGA Championship, capturing his first Major triumph with the lowest score in Major history.

Third-ranked Schauffele sank a tension-packed six-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th hole at Valhalla for a one-stroke victory over DeChambeau to snap a two-year victory drought.

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

Schauffele, who had 12 prior top-10 Major finishes without a victory, had not won an event since the 2022 Scottish Open, having had 19 top-10 PGA Tour finishes during his drought. But he matched the lowest round in Major history with a nine-under 62 on Thursday and was equal to the challenge on Sunday.

The reigning Olympic champion fired a six-under-par 65 and finished 72 holes on 21-under 263 to edge fellow American DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion.

“Proud of Xander for finally getting the job done,” DeChambeau said. “He’s an amazing golfer and well- deserved Major champion now.

“On my side of the coin, disappointing. I played well. Shot 20-under-par in a major championship. Proud of myself for the way I handled adversity. Definitely disappointing, but one that gives me a lot of momentum for the rest of the Majors.”

DeChambeau closed with a 64 while Norway’s Victor Hovland, last year’s PGA runner-up, was third on 266 after shooting a 66.

Schauffele said he will take a moment to enjoy the view and maybe have a beer before continuing the ascent to the top of the rankings where Scottie Scheffler has set up camp.

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

“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.

“I might have a beer up there on that side of the hill there and enjoy this, but it’s not that hard to chase when someone is so far ahead of you.”

AFP and Reuters

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