Golfbet Recap: Xander Schauffele birdies 72nd hole to capture maiden major title at PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele secured his first major championship with a stunning performance at the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, finishing with a record-breaking score of 21-under par. Schauffele, a top pre-tournament pick at +1400, led from the first round and never relinquished his position, clinching victory with a birdie on the 72nd hole.

Key Moments and Performance:

  • Record-Breaking Start: Schauffele set a major championship record with a 9-under 62 on Thursday, making him the First Round Leader at +2000.
  • Consistent Play: He followed up with rounds of 68 on both Friday and Saturday, tying for the lead with Collin Morikawa at 15-under heading into the final round.
  • Final Round Drama: Despite challenging conditions and fierce competition from Viktor Hovland and Bryson DeChambeau, Schauffele maintained his composure. After a bogey on the 10th and a birdie on the 11th, he was tied with Hovland at 19-under.
  • Clutch Finish: On the 18th hole, Schauffele hit a remarkable 4-iron from the rough and sank a 6-foot birdie putt to secure his victory with a final-round 65.

Odds and Betting:

  • Pre-tournament: +1400
  • After Round 1 (led by 3): +250
  • After Round 2 (led by 1): +275
  • After Round 3 (co-leader): +260

Key Competitors:

  • Viktor Hovland: Made a strong push with birdies on Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 13, momentarily taking the solo lead.
  • Bryson DeChambeau: Challenged Schauffele with a birdie on the 72nd hole, finishing tied for second.
  • Collin Morikawa: Despite a strong start, Morikawa stalled in the final round, unable to keep up with the leaders.

Historical Context and Weather Impact:

  • The 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla was similarly dramatic, with Rory McIlroy winning in near-darkness. This year's event featured wet and soft conditions due to rain, allowing players to be aggressive with their shots.

Schauffele's Statistics:

  • Strokes Gained (SG):
    • Off the Tee: 3rd
    • Approach: 2nd
    • Putting: 13th
  • Greens in Regulation: 1st, hitting 60 out of 72 greens, tying Tiger Woods' record from 2000.

Upcoming Events:

  • Scottie Scheffler: Set to compete at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
  • Xander Schauffele: Will defend his PGA Championship title next May at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

Golfbet Expert Picks Recap:

  • Will Gray: Collin Morikawa (+2800) T4
  • Ben Everill, Rob Bolton, Mike Glasscott: Rory McIlroy (+750) T12
  • Chris Breece, Matt DelVecchio: Ludvig Åberg (+1800) MC

Golfbet Insider Picks Recap:

  • Jason Day (+5500): T43
  • Viktor Hovland Top 5 (+650): 3rd
  • Corey Conners Top 10 (+600): T26
  • Thomas Detry Top 40 (+200): 4th
  • Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele both Top 10 (+900): T26/WIN

Congratulations to Xander Schauffele for his exceptional performance and his first major championship victory at the PGA Championship!