Xander Schauffele ties major championship scoring record with 62 to open 2024

Xander Schauffele has done it again. Firing a 9-under 62 to open play at the 2024 PGA Championship, Schauffele grabbed hold of the lead in record-setting fashion. Schauffele’s 62 ties for the lowest round ever scored in a major championship — matching a mark he previously achieved — while setting a record as the lowest round in PGA Championship history.

The 62 is also a new competitive course record at Valhalla Golf Club. Schauffele clipped 18 prior instances of 63 being scored at PGA Championships and Jose Maria Olazabal’s 63 at Valhalla in the 2000 playing of this event.

Thursday marked the second straight year Schauffele has scored 62 at a major as he did the same to start play at the 2023 U.S. Open. The Olympic gold medalist fired a 62 in Round 1 at Los Angeles Country Club last year to tie a mark set just moments before him by Rickie Fowler.

Schauffele is now the only man in the history of professional golf to shoot multiple rounds of 62 in majors. The feat has been accomplished by both Fowler (2023 U.S. Open, Round 1) and Branden Grace (2017 Open, Round 3).

Coming off a disappointing finish at the Wells Fargo Championship last week in Charlotte — in which Schauffele held the lead only to be usurped Sunday by Rory McIlroy — the American was able to brush it off Thursday and look like his usual self in Louisville.

Despite the end result, Schauffele’s day did not begin in ideal fashion as he failed to take advantage of his first hole, the par-5 10th. That was about his only mistake as birdies began to fly soon after. A tee shot from 215 yards on the par-3 11th settled 2 feet from the pin and set up the 30-year-old’s first of the day. Conversions from 13 feet and 16 feet set up birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 before a laser approach put him in position for another on No. 16.

Schauffele capped his first nine with a routine birdie on the par-5 18th and saw him turn in 5-under 31. Already out in front of the pack, he kept his foot on the gas on the outward half of Valhalla.

A beautiful approach into the tricky par-4 2nd led to Schauffele picking up another birdie before taking to the short par-4 4th. Schauffele elected to hit driver and push the envelope on the hole, which proved to be the correct decision. Thanks to some added speed — picked up this offseason through a concerted effort with his new trainer and swing coach — Schauffele’s tee ball came to rest just short of the green. A nifty chip resulted in his seventh birdie of the round.

Schauffele’s eighth came on the next hole as a nice mid-iron allowed him to knock in another bid from inside 10 feet. He continued to saunter through the front nine of Valhalla without any signs of stress and got through the most difficult hole on the course, the par-4 6th, unblemished.

Shortly after, Schauffele needed two putts from 55 feet to kick in his ninth and final birdie of his round on the par-5 7th. A couple ho-hum pars put a bow on Schauffele’s record performance and has now set the stage for a potential major championship breakthrough for arguably the best player in the world without one.

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