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Xander Schauffele’s 9-under start makes PGA Championship history

Xander Schauffele is off to a scorching hot PGA Championship start at Valhalla Golf Club, as his opening Thursday round rewrote the record books.

Schauffele went into the clubhouse not only leading the pack at 9-under par following his first round, but his 62 is now the lowest round ever recorded at a PGA Championship. 

There have been 17 other golfers who shot 63 in PGA Championship rounds, including Jose Maria Olazabal’s third-round performance at the 2000 tournament, which fittingly enough was also played at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky. 

So, Schauffele set a new course record as well as shooting the lowest round in the major’s history. 

Schauffele, 30, was happy with his performance, but knows there are still three rounds left before he can exhale. 


“It’s just one day,” he said. “Very happy with how I played. I can’t think much more of it. I have to tee it up tomorrow.”

Schauffele’s bogey-free round saw some incredible stats, including 12 one-putts, which shows how dialed in he was with his approach shots to the green. He did have to scramble at times, including an up-and-down par save on the par-3 eighth hole, which was his 17th hole on the scorecard after starting on Hole 10. 

Xander Schauffele lines up ball for putt

But even that shot was miraculous, as he got the 60-foot chip to check and stop just two feet from the cup. 

Schauffele does, however, have some solid competition behind him as Rory McIlroy finished with a 5-under 66. Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala walked into the clubhouse at 6-under, while Scottie Scheffler, who has been red hot of late, winning four of his last five PGA Tour events, including the Masters, got off to a good start in his opening round, too. 

Weather could become a factor with thunderstorms in the forecast for the weekend, so Schauffele will try to remain locked in and hope some more low numbers get turned in when his rounds are finished. 

Xander Schauffele smiles

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But Schauffele is ahead in record-setting fashion. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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