Xander Schauffele finally triumphed in a Major

At the age of 30 years, 6 months, and 24 days, Schauffele, in his 28th attempt, finally triumphed in a Major

by Andrea Gussoni
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Xander Schauffele finally triumphed in a Major
© Patrick Smith/Getty Images Sport

In the United States, after a standout performance that saw him leading from the first to the final round, Xander Schauffele clinched the 106th edition of the PGA Championship. In Louisville, Kentucky, the American champion finished with a total of 263 (62 68 68 65, -21), edging out his compatriot Bryson DeChambeau by one stroke, who finished 2nd with 264 (-20), among the leading golfers of the LIV Golf, the Arab Super League.

Norwegian Viktor Hovland secured the third spot with 266 (-18).

Xander Schauffele, results

At the age of 30 years, 6 months, and 24 days, Schauffele, in his 28th attempt, finally triumphed in a Major. He became the first to secure a Slam as the reigning Olympic champion, propelling him from 3rd to 2nd place in the world rankings.

He now trails only Scottie Scheffler, the world ranking leader, who finished 8th with 271 (-13) at the Valhalla Golf Club (par 71), hosting the PGA Championship for the fourth time this year. No one in the history of a Major had ever won with this score.

The 263 represents a record for the PGA Championship (Brooks Koepka recorded a 264 in 2018), and the "-21" is the lowest score, relative to par, in Major history. Holding steady in second place in the FedEx Cup, the 30-year-old from San Diego celebrated his eighth PGA Tour title in 175 events played.

His feat earned him $3,300,000 out of a total prize pool of $18,500,000, the highest in the competition's history but decidedly lower than other Slams and even the "elevated" tournaments of the PGA Tour. Crucial to the victory was a birdie on the 18th and final hole of the tournament.

"When I saw the ball go in, I looked up and raised my arms to the sky in a sign of liberation. I'm overjoyed," exclaimed the Olympic gold medalist from the Tokyo Games. Also in the Top 10 was another Californian, Collin Morikawa (tied with Schauffele at the end of the "moving day"), finishing 4th with 269 (-15) alongside Belgian Thomas Detry.

Meanwhile, Englishman Justin Rose and Irishman Shane Lowry shared 6th place with 270 (-14). Tied for eighth with Scheffler were Americans Billy Horschel and Justin Thomas, along with Scotsman Robert MacIntyre. Rory McIlroy's Major drought continues.

Dropping from 2nd to 3rd place in the world rankings, McIlroy has not won a Major in ten years. His last triumph came in this tournament and on this course in 2014. This time, the Northern Irishman could only manage a 12th place finish with 272 (-12).

Behind him, finishing 26th with 275 (-9), was Brooks Koepka, among the LIV Golf elite and a three-time winner of the championship. Jordan Spieth's Grand Slam dream was postponed, finishing 43rd with 278 (-6) and never in contention for the win.

Xander Schauffele
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