PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele Leads After Historic Start Ahead of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy is in the Hunt - Latest Global News

PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele Leads After Historic Start Ahead of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy is in the Hunt

Xander Schauffele leads by three shots after making important history in the opening round of the PGA Championship, where pre-tournament favorites Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy also made strong starts.

Schauffele – a runner-up in the Wells Fargo Championship last week – made nine birdies in a stunning bogey-free round at Valhalla Golf Club, posting the first round of 62 in PGA Championship history and just the fourth ever in a men’s major.

The American’s massive club target of nine under was never even close to being surpassed on a low-scoring Thursday, with Tony Finau and Sahith Theegala tied for second at six under, ahead of a jam a further shot back that included McIlroy.

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Xander Schauffele became the first player in PGA Championship history to reach a round of 62 with a sensational performance on day one at Valhalla

McIlroy began his bid for his third straight victory and the elusive fifth major title began with a score of five-under 66, the same as when he won the PGA Championship at this venue in 2014 while Scheffler was at the Chasing a fifth win in six starts just five points from the lead.

Brooks Koepka opened his title defense with a four-under 67, ranking alongside Scheffler, and Jon Rahm birdied four of his final six holes to preserve an improbable opening-round 70, while Tiger Woods – a former winner in Valhalla in 2000 – 10 points off the pace after a bogey-bogey finish.

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A look back at the highs and lows of Tiger Woods’ opening round at the PGA Championship in Valhalla

Historic day in Walhalla

Schauffele started on the back nine and followed birdies on the 11th and 13th with three more birdies in a four-hole stretch from the 15th to the turn on 31, then extended his lead by hitting a shot on par -4-second point scored.

Two consecutive birdies from the par-five fourth and another from the seventh moved Schauffele to nine under and increased the chances of the first 61 in men’s major history, with the American still tied for the lowest major ever – relative to par – despite consecutive pars.

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Schauffele analyzes his record-breaking round of 62 on the first day of the PGA Championship in Valhalla

Finau had a bogey-free start to the week, sharing second place with Theegala, who birdied each of his final three holes, while McIlroy had a three-birdie burst of his own along the way – including a chip-in on the sixth one Opening 66.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, Tom Kim and Thomas Detry were also in the group at five under, while Scheffler holed out from the fairway to take the par-4 first and threatened Schauffele at the nearest come.

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Schauffele analyzes his record-breaking round of 62 on the first day of the PGA Championship in Valhalla

Scheffler, who made his first appearance since giving birth to his son last week, mixed four birdies with two bogeys later in his round, while Koepka followed a tap-in eagle with a 35-foot birdie late in his round to take the lead World No. 1 at four under.

Former major champions Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau are part of the group of three, which also includes FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland. Two-time PGA champion Justin Thomas and Grand Slam hopeful Jordan Spieth joined Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry for first-round 69s.

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