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PGA Championship Day 1 Winners, Losers as Xander Schauffele leads


Xander Schauffele set a number of data throughout the first spherical of the PGA Championship, as he holds a commanding three-shot lead over Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala by way of 18 holes.

A bunch of six gamers, together with Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Tom Kim, and Robert MacIntyre, lurks 4 photographs behind Schauffele.

However loads of different important storylines developed at Valhalla on Day One, so let’s discover the winners and losers from Thursday within the Bluegrass State.

Winners:

Xander Schauffele

Schauffele not solely set a brand new Valhalla course file, however he shot the bottom rating in PGA Championship historical past with a 9-under 62. He made 9 birdies and 9 pars, a clear scorecard that soared him to the highest of the leaderboard.

Xander Schauffele, PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele on the seventh inexperienced throughout the first spherical.
Photograph by Patrick Smith/Getty Photographs

He has been on this place loads of instances earlier than, although. Schauffele owns the bottom all-time first-round scoring common in majors at 69.81 for these gamers who’ve appeared in 25 of them, per Elias Sports activities Bureau. Brooks Koepka ranks second with a mark of 70.74.

Now, the query revolves round Schauffele sealing the deal. He has 12 top-10 finishes in majors however no titles to point out. A win this week would change his profession, give him an additional dose of confidence, and take away him from atop the record of ‘Finest present participant by no means to win a significant.’

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has loads of drama in his private life in the mean time, together with his pending divorce and discussions surrounding the PGA Tour Coverage Board.

Regardless, one has to really feel for the Northern Irishman, who’s experiencing a whirlwind exterior of the ropes.

However contained in the ropes, McIlroy appears pretty much as good as ever. He scrapped his means round Valhalla to card a 5-under 66 on Thursday, which included six birdies and one bogey.

Rory McIlroy, PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy reacts after making a birdie on the thirteenth gap throughout spherical one of many 2024 PGA Championship.
Photograph by Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour by way of Getty Photographs

Identified for his driving prowess, McIlroy didn’t have his finest stuff off the tee on Thursday—even discovering the water along with his driver on 18. He managed to save lots of par there, giving him a much-needed momentum increase going to his second 9.

He took benefit of that and now has a strong probability to seize his first main championship in a decade.

ESPN Protection

ESPN started reside protection of the PGA Championship at 7 a.m. ET on Thursday morning on its streaming platform, ESPN Plus. Tv protection started at Midday ET, and the community concluded its broadcast at 8 p.m., thus ending a marathon day to the delight of golf followers in all places.

The ‘Worldwide Chief in Sports activities’ has accomplished an outstanding job overlaying the second main of the yr, displaying loads of golf photographs throughout a number of feeds. Commercials didn’t boggle down the printed both. Even the No Laying Up crew had a two-hour present on ESPN2 from 1 to three p.m. ET, which was a delight.

Scottie Scheffler as a Dad

Many golfers within the discipline this week joked about Scheffler needing extra sleep after he and his spouse welcomed a son into the world final week.

For sure, Scheffler didn’t get off to a sleepy begin.

He one-hopped his strategy shot into the primary gap, making an eagle two to start his first main championship as a father.

Certainly, his 8-day-old son, Bennett, was impressed.

Scheffler completed the day with a 4-under 67 as he eyes his second straight main title.

Brooks Koepka’s Endurance

‘Huge, Unhealthy, Brooks’ carded a 4-under 67 on Thursday, forcing persistence upon himself to trickle up the leaderboard on the finish of his spherical.

He made solely three birdies to 1 bogey, however an eagle on the par-5 seventh—his sixteenth gap of the day—considerably improved his standing. He then made a type of three birdies on the very subsequent gap, the par-3 eighth.

Curiously, Koepka, the defending champion, opened with a 2-over 72 at Oak Hill a yr in the past. Will his five-shot enchancment in spherical one this time function a harbinger of issues to return?

Losers:

Phil Mickelson

Mickelson, a two-time winner of this occasion, started the day with a bogey on the par-4 1st and a double-bogey on the par-4 2nd. He ended the day with one other double, as he splashed his drive into the water to the appropriate of the 18th fairway.

Phil Mickelson, PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson on the 18th gap throughout Thursday’s first spherical.
Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photographs

He shot a 3-over 74, which isn’t a foul rating contemplating it included two double bogies, however Mickelson has loads of work to do if he needs to make the minimize.

It is going to seemingly take a spherical within the mid-60s.

Michael Block

The Block Celebration ended on the 2nd inexperienced at Valhalla early Thursday morning.

Block, who performed within the first group of the day, crisscrossed the 2nd inexperienced a number of instances, hitting quite a lot of chips throughout the placing floor. He lastly made a quadruple-bogey eight, sending him down the leaderboard and into the abyss.

He’ll seemingly miss the minimize after carding a 5-over 76, however Block performed his remaining 16 holes in even par.

Valhalla Golf Membership

This Jack Nicklaus-design format yielded loads of birdies, primarily as a result of comfortable situations.

However that doesn’t low cost the truth that Valhalla is just too straightforward for the most effective gamers on the planet. The successful rating will seemingly hover round 20-under-par, proving how benign this course is. With three par-5s and loads of gettable par-4s, this format pales compared to what the gamers noticed at difficult Oak Hill one yr in the past.

Count on to see a birdie barrage over the following few days, which, in my view, diminishes the mystique of a significant. The primary spherical ended with 65 gamers below par, essentially the most in PGA Championship historical past.

It isn’t like this can be a new improvement, both. Rory McIlroy gained the 2014 version at 16-under, whereas Tiger Woods and Bob Might completed at 18-under in 2000.

Certainly, this match will finish the streak of three consecutive PGA Championship winners ending at single digits below par.

Plus, limestone waterfalls are for resorts, not for main championships.

Brian Harman’s Tempo of Play

Brian Harman’s sluggish tempo of play has been well-documented earlier than. He tends to waggle his membership face endlessly earlier than hitting a shot, drawing the ire of golf followers in all places.

However ESPN determined to have somewhat enjoyable at Harman’s expense on Thursday.

After Harman addressed a putt, he walked away from it to get a re-examination. However as a substitute of staying on the shot, the ESPN producer determined to pan to a turtle sitting beside certainly one of Valhalla’s quite a few water hazards.

Maybe this transfer ought to fall below the ‘Winners’ class above, the place ESPN’s protection has claimed a spot. However no one likes sluggish play. Everybody loathes it. So, to Harman and golfers in all places, please decide up the tempo as a result of no one needs to play behind a turtle.

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By. Remember to try @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as effectively.



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