Schauffele wins first major at US PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele holed a nervy six-foot birdie putt at the 18th to win his first major with a record score on a gripping final day at the US PGA Championship.

The American held off the charging Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland to triumph on 21 under at Valhalla, Kentucky.

Having led the tournament since equalling the best round at a major when he shot 62 in round one, the 30-year-old Californian finished with a six-under 65 to claim the Wanamaker Trophy by one shot.

“I was emotional after the [winning] putt lipped in,” said Schauffele. “It’s been a while since I’ve won – I really did not want to go into a play-off with Bryson.

“My dad is in Hawaii and I managed to call him but I had to hang up quickly because he was making me cry.”

Six birdies in eight holes around the turn briefly put Norwegian Hovland into the lead but world number three Schauffele responded with magnificent birdies on the 11th and 12th to wrestle it back.

DeChambeau profited with a birdie after his wild drive on 16 hit a tree and bounced back into the fairway, and he also birdied the last to card a 64 and draw level with Schauffele, sparking raucous celebrations on the 18th green.

Hovland then had a putt to also get to 20 under, but crumbled under the pressure, taking three shots from 10 feet as he finished on 18 under.

However, Olympic champion Schauffele, who has faced criticism for not closing out tournaments when well placed, stood up to the onslaught, rolling in a birdie of his own to secure the title.

England’s Justin Rose led the British challenge, finishing in a tie for sixth at 14 under par and with that becoming only the second player aged over 40, after the legendary Sam Snead, to make five consecutive top-15 finishes at this tournament.

Playing alongside Rose, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre failed to fire, although he closed with a superb eagle to post a 70 and 13 under total to cap a great week.

Shane Lowry of Ireland, who spectacularly equalled Schauffele’s 62 on Saturday – becoming the fourth player to do so – went cold with his putter as he also carded a 70.

Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, who led jointly with Schauffele after round three, opened with 14 straight pars before bogeying the 15th. His solitary birdie came at the last in an otherwise disappointing round as he finished five off the pace.

The world’s top two players Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy rounded off disappointing weekends at eight and nine shots back respectively.

Source: BBC Sports

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