Xander Schauffele Ties Major Record With 62, Leads Early at PGA Championship 

The 30-year-old Californian is looking for his first major title but now owns two of the four 62s shot in majors.
Xander Schauffele tied a major-championship record Thursday at the PGA Championship.
Xander Schauffele tied a major-championship record Thursday at the PGA Championship. / Sam Upshaw Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Xander Schauffele is arguably the best player in golf without a major title. He took the first step toward losing that label Thursday in record fashion.

The third-ranked player in the world tied the single-round major-championship record with a 9-under 62 at Valhalla Golf Club. There are now four 62s in major history and Schauffele has two of them, having also shot 62 at last year’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.

The 62 is the new low in the history of the PGA Championship.

Schauffele led by three shots over Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala (65s) among the morning starters. Rory McIlroy and Robert MacIntyre shot 5-under 66s.

On a comfortable day for scoring, with little wind and receptive greens, Schauffele made nine birdies, converting putts of 2 feet, 13 feet, 16 feet, 7 feet, 5 feet, 4 feet, 4 inches (driving it near the green at the short par-4 4th hole), 10 feet and 2 feet (on in two at the par-5 7th). He began his round on the 10th hole and went out in 31.

The previous best at Valhalla in the PGA Championship was a 63 by Jose Maria Olazabal in 2000.

Schauffele has 12 top-10s in majors without a win, trailing only Rickie Fowler (13) in this year’s field. Only one of those was in a PGA Championship, a T10 in 2020 at TPC Harding Park. He has T2s in the Masters and British Open, and a T3 in the U.S. Open.

And he has a penchant for starting out fast in golf's biggest events. Of players who have appeared in at least 25 majors, he has the lowest all-time first-round scoring average, at 69.81 coming into the week. Five-time major champion Brooks Koepka, the defending PGA champion, is second with a first-round scoring average of 70.74. Finau is third at 70.90.

The 30-year-old Californian has had an incredibly consistent 2024 on the PGA Tour, only to be overshadowed by the dominance of Scottie Scheffler. Schauffele hasn’t missed a cut in 12 starts, with five top-5 finishes, eight top 10s and only one finish outside the top 25.

Last week, Schauffele finished second to Rory McIlroy at the Wells Fargo Championship, a signature event on Tour. He held a one-shot lead after 54 holes but only shot 71 on Sunday while McIlroy blitzed the field with a 65 to win by five. 

Schauffele has seven career Tour wins, the last coming in the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open.

The other 62s shot in major championship history before Thursday were 8-under 62s: Branden Grace (2017 British Open), Rickie Fowler (2023 U.S. Open) and Schauffele (2023 U.S. Open).


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John Schwarb

JOHN SCHWARB

John Schwarb is the senior golf editor for Sports Illustrated whose career has spanned more than 25 years covering sports. He’s been featured on ESPN.com, PGATour.com, The Golfers Journal and Tampa Bay Times. He’s also the author of The Little 500: The Story of the World's Greatest College Weekend. A member of the Golf Writers Association of America, John is based in Indianapolis.