Xander Schauffele shoots first-round 62 at PGA Championship, ties lowest scoring round at a major

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The disappointment from his final-round struggles the previous week at the Wells Fargo Championship did not carry over to the opening round of the 106th PGA Championship for Xander Schauffele.

The Olympic champion and San Diego native concluded the morning session by blistering Valhalla Golf Club with a bogey-free 9-under 62 to break the competitive course record and tie for the lowest round in men’s major championship history.

It was his second 62 in a year, matching his opening round in the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club. Overall on Thursday, he finished with nine birdies, five coming on the back nine where he shot a matching 31.

“I think not winning makes you want to win more, as weird as that is,” said Schauffele, who squandered a one-stroke lead before losing by five strokes to Rory McIlroy on Sunday at the Wells Fargo. “For me, at least, I react to it, and I want it more and more and more, and it makes me want to work harder and harder and harder.

“The top feels far away, and I feel like I have a lot of work to do. But just slowly chipping away at it.”

His performance left him three strokes in front of Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala and four in front of McIlroy and Robert McIntyre to conclude the morning session. Brooks Keopka and Ben Kohles were five back at 4-under.

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(Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

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