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Xander Schauffele wins first PGA Championship title at long last

Xander Schauffele shot a 6-under 65 to win his first major at the PGA Championship held at Valhalla Golf Club. He telegraphed that week, breaking his major record in the process.

His total of 21 under par is the lowest par score in a major tournament. Schauffele shot a 62 on Thursday, tying the 18-hole scoring record set earlier in the week.

He stayed the course, and it became a memorable day for Americans. Nothing could faze him. Schauffele had seven birdies and one bogey in Sunday’s round. Finally, Schauffele major winners Eighth PGA Championship appearance.

“I’m very happy. But it’s just a whirlwind of emotions,” Schauffele said.

“I was looking up at the board and thinking I had to make a birdie on the last hole. I was just trying to get a birdie there and create some kind of cushion. The birdie was a flurry, but it was great. I kept telling myself I need to earn this. I need to prove this to myself and now it’s my turn.”

Bryson DeChambeau made a clutch birdie putt of his own on the 18th to tie Schauffele at 20 under. Many thought there would be a playoff between the two former Ryder Cup teammates, but Schauffele would not allow that to happen.

He came into this week with a new perspective after working with Chris Como on his preparations.

“He helped me a lot. He gave me a lot of confidence in my ball-striking ability and unlocked some parts of that ability,” Schauffele said.

“I hit some good shots late. A few balls just went to weird places, but I’m good to go.”

The 30-year-old led the field this week with a total stroke gain of 18.16. He picked up 5.2 shots off the tee to rank third, was second in approaches to the green, and improved his iron play by nearly eight strokes.

Schauffele had a great week from tee to green. He didn’t let any doubts creep in, instead he played his game and took advantage of the opportunities in front of him.

His name will forever be engraved on the Wanamaker Trophy as a major champion.

Savannah Lee Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through.If you want to know more about golf, please follow us. @_PlayingThrough On all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirls and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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