Xander Schauffele closes the door at LIV Golf

If the 106th PGA Championship needed anything else, it was the arrest of Scottie Scheffler and the two historic 62s by Xander Schauffele and Shane Lowry

by Andrea Gussoni
Xander Schauffele closes the door at LIV Golf
© Ten Golf Youtube Channel

If the 106th PGA Championship needed anything else, it was the arrest of Scottie Scheffler and the two historic 62s by Xander Schauffele and Shane Lowry. The tournament was ultimately decided on Sunday with a duel in the sun between the PGA and LIV, the mother of all battles in today's golfing landscape.

It fell on the side of the former with Schauffele's victory, who finally broke through with his -6 to -21, the best score relative to par in a major ever. A beautiful edition, the fourth at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, saw a course that allowed for scoring (-214 relative to par played in total by participants, 254 strokes fewer than at Riviera in 1997, the previous best) and a leaderboard dominated from day one by the elite, culminated in a showdown between two stalwarts of the American circuit, Schauffele and the Norwegian Hovland, alongside one of the big signings of the Saudi super league, Bryson DeChambeau.

They were the standout players among a strong group of contenders heading into the final round. Among them was Collin Morikawa, seeking his third major but finishing with a modest -15, failing to make a birdie until the final hole.

Xander Schauffele, statements

The perennial leader, Xander Schauffele, had quickly extended his lead from Thursday. A born winner, with seven PGA victories and an Olympic gold to his name, but lacking one of the legs of the Grand Slam, a task that perhaps seemed too daunting after a year and a half without a win, during which he stacked up top-10 finishes and boasted the best cut streak of the moment, 46.

On Sunday, he dispelled all doubts with an imperial display. He notched four birdies on the front nine and, after a stumble on the 10th, a double bogey because it's one of Valhalla's most lucrative holes, he strung together three more from the 11th to the 18th.

The final putt, needing a birdie to avoid a playoff against DeChambeau, dropped in, kissing the edge of the hole. As if history wasn't quite ready to settle scores with him yet. Behind him were Hovland, who ultimately finished third at -18, still waiting for his breakthrough, and DeChambeau.

His sixth-place finish at the Masters and now this fabulous PGA mark his return to contention for major titles, a welcome sight for television viewers. He posted the best round of the day, -7 for -20, including a birdie on the 18th that put pressure on Schauffele, but he couldn't replicate a scene feared by the PGA Tour, that of one of its "renegades" once again lifting a major trophy.

Schauffele slammed the door shut. Scheffler, another top-10 before his court appearance It would have likely been Scottie Scheffler's second major of the season, prompting comparisons to Tiger, if not for that surreal Saturday when he paid the price for a tumultuous week, his first as a father, being arrested on Friday and charged with various offenses, including assaulting a police officer, which he must answer for this Tuesday at his preliminary hearing.

The American, who faltered with a +2 in the third round, breaking a streak of 42 consecutive rounds at par or below, returned to form on Sunday with a -6 to finish at -13, earning him another top-10, his tenth of the year.

Xander Schauffele Scottie Scheffler Shane Lowry