2024 PGA Championship - Final Round
Credit: Getty Images

In Louisville, home of Muhammad Ali, the greatest of all time, it was Xander Schauffele who was the last man standing after taking proverbial body blows for five straight hours.

Actually, he took them for four straight days.

But on this Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club, host of the 106th PGA Championship, when the pressure mounted most, there were three left to decide who would win this major championship. Ultimately, Schauffele followed his first-round record 62 with 68-68-65 to capture his first major championship at 21 under par.

2024 PGA Championship - Final Round
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 19: Xander Schauffele of the United States celebrates after winning on the 18th green during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 19, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Credit: Getty Images

“I knew I had to birdie the last hole, looking up at the board,” Schauffele said. “I was trying to squeak a birdie in there somehow just to have some kind of cushion. It was a hectic birdie, as well, but it was awesome. I kept telling myself, I need to earn this, I need to prove this to myself, and this is my time.”

Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland, paired together, both provided great theater on this steamy afternoon and fed off each other, combining to make 13 birdies. Both had chances to win until the bitter end.

Hovland first. The 26-year-old Norwegian, if you remember, had a chance to beat Brooks Koepka last year during the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. He was in the mix until he made a double bogey on the 70th hole. He tied for second place, two shots behind Koepka.

Then there was a stretch later that fall where he was the best player in the world, winning two late PGA Tour events, including the FedExCup, and then was a beast in helping Europe defeat the U.S. in the Ryder Cup in Italy.

But this year has been different. He has not been comfortable. He has not played well. He has not contended. His best finish on the PGA Tour is a tie for 19th place. So frustrated with his game, he told reporters that he considered withdrawing this week and going home to rest.

Thankfully he did not. After opening with 68-66-66, Hovland clearly cured whatever ailed him. After opening with four straight pars, he rattled off three straight birdies and six in a nine-hole stretch. He actually held the solo lead for a brief moment.

Coming down the par-5 18th hole, Hovland knew he needed birdie to have a chance to win, or at least get into a playoff. He was some 50 yards short of the green in two shots and chipped the ball to 10 feet. But DeChambeau, in the exact same situation, needing a birdie, was just a few inches outside Hovland and putted first. DeChambeau made, Hovland missed and Hovland’s hopes of winning his first major championship were dashed. He actually missed the 3-foot comebacker for par and made his only bogey of the day and still shot 66.

“I mean, it was an impressive, impressive round of golf by all three of us,” DeChambeau said. “I don't know what else to say. It was just difficult.”

DeChambeau’s bogey-free 64 stings after doing everything he could to try to capture a second major championship to go with his U.S. Open title. The 30-year-old was a ball of fire from the start and the Kentucky crowds seemed to be on his side all day. He doesn’t compete on the PGA Tour any longer, so many were excited to see him and his go-for-broke style again.

He birdied the second, fifth and sixth holes to jump into the mix, the birdie on the sixth coming when he putted from 40 feet off the green. Another birdie at 10 put him only a shot behind Schauffele and more fireworks at Nos. 13 and 16 gave him a shot on the 72nd hole.

DeChambeau went nuts when his 10-footer leaked into the hole on 18, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as Schauffele, in the group behind, got up and down from short of the green for birdie, making a 6-footer to capture his first major.

“I thought I left it short again like a – like a you-know-what, like an idiot,” DeChambeau said on his last putt of the Championship. “Luckily it got there and it was some nice elation to finish off a round like that in a major championship. Pretty proud of myself, yeah.

“I gave it my all. I put as much effort as I possibly could into it and I knew that my B game would be enough. It's just clearly somebody played incredibly well. Xander's well deserving of a major championship and, yeah, emptying the tank, I certainly love to do that and give the fans everything I can.”

Latest News