CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 12: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with the media after the final round of Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 12, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Schauffele, McIlroy, Pendrith, Gotterup and Riley enjoy winning moments

By Helen Ross

Schauffele breaks through for maiden major win at PGA Championship

As if that opening 62 – which tied the lowest round ever in a major championship – wasn’t enough of a statement, Xander Schauffele didn’t shoot higher than 68 in the other three rounds. On a burly and wet course that was playing 7,609 yards, no less.

Only five PGA Championship winners had accomplished that feat at since 1958, and none since Jimmy Walker in 2016. When the strokes were tallied up, the Californian had his long-awaited first major – beating Brooks Koepka’s 72-hole PGA record by a stroke at 263 and setting a major championship scoring mark in relation to par at 21-under. Schauffele was making his 28th major start and the win was his lucky 13th top-10.

A victory drought of 679 days ended, as well. He had come to Valhalla with momentum after a runner-up finish the previous week at the Wells Fargo Championship. In fact, since the start of the 2022-23 season Schauffele has 20 top-10s, second only to world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler’s 27.

The win essentially locked up a berth on the U.S. Olympic team for Schauffele, who also happens to be the most recent gold medalist. He didn’t make a bogey on the front nine, led the field in birdies with 25 and set the pace in greens in regulation, hitting 50 of 72 greens.

Schauffele’s Strokes Gained: Approach The Green total of +7.81 was the third best of his career. He made seven birdies on Sunday, and all but one of those putts was inside 12 feet, a testament to his drive and accuracy.

McIlroy claims fourth Wells Fargo title

A powerful one-two punch propelled Rory McIlroy to victory at the Wells Fargo Championship as he led the field in driving distance and tied for second in greens in regulation.

Just over 89 percent of his drives topped the 300-yard mark, which was second among Wells Fargo Championship winners to the 96.41 total he posted in 2021. He also ranked fourth in putts per green in regulation and seventh overall.

Not only was the win his fourth in Charlotte, it was the 26th victory of the Northern Irishman’s PGA TOUR career and tied him with Henry Picard for 11th all-time. McIlroy, who trailed Xander Schauffele by one as Sunday began, pulled away on the back nine when he made two eagles – just the third time in the ShotLink era that a winner accomplished that feat.

The cushion was a bonus as McIlroy hit his approach into the creek by the left side of the 18th green. Even with the double bogey, he won by five strokes – the largest winning margin by a champion rinsing a shot on the 72nd hole in a TOUR event since 2003.

Over the final two rounds, McIlroy picked up 13.01 shots on the field in Strokes Gained: Total – three better than the next best in that category. He was also first in scoring in relation to par at 10 under and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green at +8.65 and ranked fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting at +4.35

Pendrith is last man standing at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson

Taylor Pendrith’s Olympic and Presidents Cup aspirations got a boost when the Canadian birdied the 72nd hole to earn his first PGA TOUR victory at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson. The competition for those coveted spots will be fierce, too – he’s the second player from Canada to win this year and the fifth in the last two seasons.

Pendrith took particular advantage of the par 4s, playing them in 11 under. He shot a career-best 130 over his final two rounds, including a 63 on Saturday that included back-to-back eagles, the second when he holed it from the fairway. Interestingly, Pendrith had three hole-outs at TPC Craig Ranch, one less than his total for the entire year.

Another plus? The Canadian, who was making his debut at TPC Craig Ranch, held up well under the pressure of the weekend. Of the 130 shots he played the final two days, Pendrith held or shared the lead for all but 25. He lost it when Ben Kohles birdied the 71st hole but won outright with that birdie on the finale as Kohles made bogey.

Gotterup captures first at first Myrtle Beach Classic

While Rory McIlroy was winning by five in Charlotte, Chris Gotterup was turning in a dominant performance about three-and-a-half hours away at the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic. He turned a one-stroke lead into six with rounds of 65 and 67 on the weekend to become the seventh first-time winner on TOUR in 2024. The win came in just his 27th start.

Gotterup’s putter proved a potent weapon at the Dunes Club. He gained 7.48 strokes on the field in total putting, which was the third highest total by a winner in 2024. He also ranked fourth in distance of putts made, tied for sixth in putting and tied for eighth in putts per green in regulation.

Gotterup had 29 birdies or better, six more than his previous best when he tied for fourth at the 2022 John Deere Classic. He played the back nine particularly well, shooting 15 under to lead the field. He also was first in Strokes Gained: Total (+10.81) and Putting (+7.01) while ranking T3 after making a total 231 feet, 5 inches in putts.

Riley holds off Scheffler to triumph at Charles Schwab Challenge

Yes, he played the final round with Scottie Scheffeler, the dominating world No. 1 who is the pride of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. But Davis Riley never got rattled as he won by five at the Charles Schwab Challenge and earned his first individual title on the PGA TOUR.

Riley, who had teamed with Nick Hardy to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2023, ranked in the top 5 in five of the six Strokes Gained categories – leading in Approach the Green (+1.98), Tee to Green (+2.86) and Total (+4.33), all career-bests. He also tied for first in Par 3 and Par 4 performance, gaining 4.13 and 10.18 shots on the field, respectively.

The 27-year-old really prospered on the final three holes, making seven birdies and just one bogey to gain a tournament-leading 6.09 shots on the field. His putter was solid overall, too – he ranked first in putts per green in regulation and made a phenomenal 98.51 percent of his putts from inside 10 feet.

The victory enabled Riley to make big jumps in the FedExCup (No. 151 to 55th) and Official World Golf Ranking (No. 270 to 78th).

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