Xander Schauffele gets validation and records with one memorable putt at……

Xander Schauffele gets validation and records with one memorable putt at……

1 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele celebrates after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Read More

2 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele holds the Wanamaker trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Read More

3 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele hugs his caddie Austin Kaiser after winning the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jon Cherry)

Read More

4 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele hits from the rough on the 18th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Read More

5 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele celebrates after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Read More

6 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele celebrates after a birdie on the sixth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Read More

7 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Read More

8 of 8 | 

Xander Schauffele holds the Wanamaker trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Read More

BY  DOUG FERGUSON

Updated 5:10 PM GMT+1, May 20, 2024

Share

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Xander Schauffele might have to watch the replay of his 6-foot putt to see how it dipped into the left side of the hole and looked as though it might spin out. When it comes to him winning the last two years, that’s what usually happens.

And then it quickly slipped out of sight, and the rest was a blur.

“When it lipped in — I don’t really remember it lipping in,” Schauffele said Sunday at Valhalla, a course named for the heaven of Norse warriors in mythology, and the PGA Championship felt every bit like a battle.

“I just heard everyone roaring,” he said, “and I just looked up to the sky in relief.”

That one putt — 6 feet, 2 inches, to be precise — brought more than he ever imagined.

Until that final hole of great theater, so typical of the PGA Championship at Valhalla, Schauffele was wearing the wrong kind of labels.

He was among the best without a major, the back-handed compliment that acknowledges the talent and questions the heart.

That could fall to a number of players over the years — Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler — it’s just that Schauffele was the current flavor as an Olympic gold medalist in Japan in 2021 and the No. 3 player in the world.

Definitely a chip on the shoulder there,” Schauffele said. “You guys are asking the questions, probing, and I have to sit here and answer it.”

And he does it well. Schauffele is not big on excuses, and that much was evident when he shared one of many life lessons from his father, Stefan, the man he affectionately calls “Ogre.” Commit, execute and accept. He only struggled with the first two.

But then he looked over at the Wanamaker Trophy — silver and shiny, and more valuable than the gold he won at the Olympics.

“It’s a lot easier to answer it with this thing sitting next to me now,” he said.

It was quite the test. Schauffele started out tied with Collin Morikawa, grabbed the lead with a 30-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, shot 31 on the front nine and was mildly surprised to see he still had little margin for error with Bryson DeChambeau and Hovland at his heels.

DeChambeau turned out to be the biggest threat and got the kind of breaks that typically fall to major champions. There was the tee shot that was going a country mile to the left until smacking a tree and going back into the fairway, from where

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*