2024 PGA Championship - Round One
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In the land of thoroughbreds, Xander Schauffele was head and shoulders above the rest Thursday at the PGA Championship when he went out early and set an impressive, record-setting mark for everyone to chase.

The World No. 3 came to Valhalla Golf Club after playing well a week ago in the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship yet miffed that he didn’t close the deal on Sunday. Ultimately, Rory McIlroy walked away with that title.

LEADERBOARD: See Schauffele's Historic Scorecard

Although it’s a different week – and one with major championship pressure – Schauffele clearly hasn’t lost any of his top form. The 30-year-old cruised by making nine birdies to shoot a bogey-free 9-under 62, which set a new Valhalla course record and is the lowest score in PGA Championship history.

Schauffele also shot 62 in the opening round of the U.S. Open last summer at Los Angeles Country Club. He is the first man to shoot two rounds of 62 in major championships.

“It's a great start to a big tournament,” Schauffele said. “One I'm obviously always going to take. It's just Thursday. That's about it.”

A combination of elite driving, precise iron play and confident putting made Schauffele’s round look effortless. Starting on the 10th hole he made an easy par to start before rolling off five birdies over the next eight holes before making the turn. Birdie at No. 3 was from inside 3 feet, he rolled one in from 13 feet on 13, from 16 feet on 15 and from inside 8 feet on the 16th hole. Schauffele closed his first nine holes with an up and down birdie on the par-5 18th.

HISTORY: Lowest Rounds in PGA Championship History

It was more of the same on the last nine holes for the man searching for his first major championship. Schauffele birdied 2, 4 and 5 to get to 8 under on the day. Then on the par-5 seventh hole, he two-putted from inside 60 feet to get to the record-setting number.

An up and down for par on eight and a two-putt from 32 feet on the last hole for 62 marked the first time Schauffele made two consecutive pars the entire round.

Justin Thomas, a Louisville native who has had so much support this week from the Kentucky crowds, shot two-under 69 on Thursday. He was grouped with Schauffele and had a front-row seat for the man who beat him by seven shots.

“Xander, he's such a complete player,” Thomas said. “This year he's hitting it even further. As good as he drove it, now he's doing the same, just 15 yards further and faster. He's smart. I've always thought he has one of the best demeanors out here, which is obviously something that you can't necessarily just change overnight. He just has no quit in him, and he's always hanging in there and staying patient.”

Schauffele knows there’s a long way to go. He opened with the 62 a year ago in Los Angeles and ultimately tied for 10th place. There are so many players playing well – McIlroy, for instance, is only four shots behind – and he doesn’t go off for the second round until Friday afternoon.

“Who knows with the weather, it might rain, so the course might be playing completely different,” Schauffele said. “Just going to bed knowing I’m playing some pretty good golf. Might just wipe the slate clean.”

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