Lowest round in a major: How Xander Schauffele’s 62 at PGA Championship compares to golf history

The first round of the 2024 PGA Championship was expected to be low-scoring thanks to soft conditions at Valhalla Golf Club.

A light Wednesday rain softened the greens and fairways at Valhalla and prevented balls from skittering out of control near the hole. That created ideal scoring conditions, and many of the world’s best golfers were able to take advantage of those.

None had more success in doing so than Xander Schauffele. The No. 5-ranked golfer in the world got off to a torrid start in his bid to win his first major, carding nine birdies and no bogeys during his first-round action.

Schauffele not only finished his day as the tournament’s leader. He also broke a longstanding course record with his 9-under scoring and tied for the lowest-scoring round in major championship history.

Here’s what to know about Schauffele’s record-setting day and how his feat beat the Valhalla course record.

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Lowest round at a major tournament

Schauffele’s 62 is tied for the lowest in major history. It has happened four times now and impressively, he has achieved the feat twice.

Each of Schauffele’s major 62s has come over the last calendar year. His first came at the 2023 U.S. Open and his second at the 2024 PGA Championship. Branden Grace and Rickie Fowler are the other golfers who have reached that impressive mark.

Below is a look at when each achieved it:

Year Golfer Major Course Score
2024 Xander Schauffele PGA Championship Valhalla Golf Club 62
2023 Xander Schauffele U.S. Open Los Angeles Country Club 62
2023 Rickie Fowler U.S. Open Los Angeles Country Club 62
2017 Branden Grace The Open Championship Royal Birkdale Golf Club 62

Strangely enough, players who have shot a 62 in a major have never won the event. Schauffele will look to buck that trend in 2024 after his stellar first-round showing.

MORE: Where Xander Schauffele ranks among top golfers in the PGA Championship field

Valhalla course record

Xander Schauffele also now owns the course record at Valhalla Golf Club thanks to his first-round 62 at the 2024 PGA Championship. The 30-year-old shot 9 under par during the first round of the tournament to beat the previous course record by one stroke.

Jose Maria Olazabal entered play Thursday as the owner of the Valhalla Golf Club course record The 1994 and 1999 Masters winner shot an 8-under 63 during the third round of the 2000 PGA Championship when it was held at the venue.

Olazabal used his strong third-round performance to catapult himself into a three-way tie for sixth place. He was four shots off the lead, then held by Tiger Woods.

Olazabal ultimately finished tied for fourth in the PGA Championship after shooting 4 under during the tournament’s final round. Schauffele hopes to do better after carding the course’s best-ever round on the 2024 PGA Championship’s first day.

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Lowest PGA Championship scores of all time

Jason Day has the lowest PGA Championship score to par of all time. He carded a 20-under during his win at Whistling Straits, good enough to earn him a three-stroke win over Jordan Spieth.

Tiger Woods also carded two 18-under scores during his career while Steve Elkington, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka all carded 16-under scores or better in their wins. Notably, one of Woods’ 18-unders and McIlroy’s 16-under came at Valhalla, so Schauffele may aim for those records if he stays hot over the ensuing three rounds.

Below is a look at the lowest PGA Championship scores to par since the tournament officially switched to stroke play for the 1958 major.

Year Golfer Course Score to par Winner?
2015 Jason Day Whistling Straits 20 under Yes
2006 Tiger Woods Medinah Country Club 18 under Yes
2000 Tiger Woods Valhalla Golf Club 18 under Yes
2000 Bob May Valhalla Golf Club 18 under No
2017 Jordan Spieth Whistling Straits 17 under No
1995 Steve Elkington Riviera Country Club 17 under Yes
1995 Colin Montgomerie Riviera Country Club 17 under No
2018 Brooks Koepka Bellerive Country Club 16 under Yes
2014 Rory McIlroy Valhalla Golf Club 16 under Yes

Schauffele isn’t guaranteed to join this list of quality golfers, but he is more than halfway to Tiger’s major record mark at Valhalla. That should give him a chance to get near the top of this list if he continues to demonstrate elite ball striking, accuracy and putting.

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Has Xander Schauffele won a major?

Schauffele has not yet won a major event. If he can follow up his record-breaking day with some solid performances, he’ll have a chance to win his first at the 2024 PGA Championship.

Schauffele has come close to taking several major titles. Notably, he finished as the runner-up at The Open Championship in 2018 and the Masters in 2019, events that he lost by two strokes to Francisco Molinari and one stroke to Tiger Woods respectively.

The 30-year-old Californian has 12 top-10 appearances in his 27 major appearances to date. He seems poised to break out eventually; that may happen at Valhalla, especially if he can continue to go low.

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