Schauffele and Morikawa at the PGA Champion

Published 8:33 pm Saturday, May 18, 2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa shared the lead at the PGA Championship on a chaotic Saturday, this time for reasons inside the ropes, with more scoring records and constant jockeying for a shot at winning a major.

Just about everyone was involved but Scottie Scheffler.

Schauffele overcame a double bogey late by closing with two birdies for a 3-under 68. Morikawa holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th at Valhalla for a 67. Shane Lowry missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and had to settle for his place in major championship history with a 62 — the second one this week at vulnerable Valhalla.

Email newsletter signup

When the cheers finally ended, Schauffele and Morikawa were at 15-under 198, one shot ahead of Sahith Theegala, who had a 68. The stage was set for endless possibilities in the final round, with 15 players separated by five shots.

The shocker was Scheffler not being among them.

Scheffler was coming off the most heart-racing day of his career that featured an arrest for not following police orders, brief jail time and a 66 to get into contention for a second straight major. But he fell apart early and never quite recovered, ending his streak of 42 consecutive rounds at par or better with a 73.

He was nine shots behind, with 23 players ahead of him.

“Too many mistakes,” Scheffler told CBS. He declined to speak to reporters. “I came out here hoping to have a good round and didn’t get it done.”

Even at the home of the Kentucky Derby, this final round could be tough to handicap.

Lowry’s magnificent performance — he made 161 feet worth of putts — ended with a wedge to just inside 12 feet and a clear shot at 61, only to not give the putt enough pace.

“Probably the most disappointed anyone can ever be shooting 62,” Lowry said. “Look, I went out there with a job to do today, and my job was to try to get myself back in the tournament. And I definitely did that.”

He had plenty of company.

Bryson DeChambeau set off the throng of spectators by chipping in for eagle on the par-5 18th for a 67, pounding his fist in celebration. He joined Lowry at 13-under 200, just two shots behind. Viktor Hovland, the FedEx Cup champion last year who decided to retool his swing and disappeared from leaderboards this year, birdied three of his last four holes for a 66 and also was only two behind.

Justin Rose (64) was three shots back. The group five behind at 10-under 203 included Justin Thomas, the Louisville native who felt chills on a steamy day when he hacked out of the weeds, down to the green and into the cup on the par-3 14th for a most unlikely birdie. He shot 67.

That’s 15 players at 10 under or better, the most through 54 holes in major championship history. The previous record was seven players, most recently at St. Andrews in 2022.

The scoring average for the third round was 69.55, a fraction behind the record for the PGA Championship set at Bellerive in 2018.

This was the day to go low just to stay in the hunt. Scheffler, using fill-in caddie with regular looper Ted Scott attending his daughter’s high school graduation in Louisiana, was in trouble from the start — a double bogey on No. 2 from mangled rough, a tee shot into a hazard left of the reachable par-4 fourth hole.

He was 4 over through four holes, and on three occasions he followed a birdie with a bogey. It was his highest score since a 73 in the third round of the Tour Championship last August.

Now the focus turns to Schauffele, the Olympic gold medalist from the Tokyo Games in 2021 who is trying to bag a silver prize — the heavy Wanamaker Trophy — for his first major. Schauffele has been leading or tied in six of his last seven rounds.

The exception was losing a 54-hole lead last week to Rory McIlroy’s closing 65 at Quail Hollow.

“I just need to stay in my lane, and hopefully it’s enough,” Schauffele said.

Morikawa already had two majors at age 24 and is slowly working his way back to that smooth, repeatable swing. He had one early wobble missing a 4-foot par putt on the second hole, and that was really his only big mistake.

There was no shortage of candidates to claim the second major of the year. The leading six players included three major champions, an Olympic gold medalist and the FedEx Cup champion. And there was Theegala, five shots behind at one point, chipping in from behind the 15th green for one of six birdies on his last 10 holes.

It was crowded at the top, just like it was at Harding Park in 2020, when a dozen players were separated by three shots going into the final round. Morikawa emerged with his first major.

“Look, I’ve played against all these guys. It’s not like any of these guys are new,” Morikawa said. “They all have their accolades within themselves, and really anyone can go low.”

At Valhalla GC
Louisville, Ky.
Purse: $17.5 million
Yardage: 7,609; Par: 71
Third Round

Collin Morikawa, United States 66-65-67—198 -15
Xander Schauffele, United States 62-68-68—198 -15
Sahith Theegala, United States 65-67-67—199 -14
Bryson DeChambeau, United States 68-65-67—200 -13
Viktor Hovland, Norway 68-66-66—200 -13
Shane Lowry, Ireland 69-69-62—200 -13
Robert Macintyre, Scotland 66-69-66—201 -12
Justin Rose, England 70-67-64—201 -12
Dean Burmester, South Africa 69-65-68—202 -11
Thomas Detry, Belgium 66-67-70—203 -10
Austin Eckroat, United States 67-67-69—203 -10
Harris English, United States 68-67-68—203 -10
Tony Finau, United States 65-69-69—203 -10
Lee Hodges, United States 71-65-67—203 -10
Justin Thomas, United States 69-67-67—203 -10
Keegan Bradley, United States 69-67-68—204 -9
Lucas Herbert, Australia 69-67-68—204 -9
Taylor Moore, United States 67-68-69—204 -9
Russell Henley, United States 70-69-66—205 -8
Tom Kim, South Korea 66-71-68—205 -8
Hideki Matsuyama, Japan 70-65-70—205 -8
Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland 66-71-68—205 -8
Jordan Spieth, United States 69-69-67—205 -8
Ryo Hisatsune, Japan 71-68-67—206 -7
Mark Hubbard, United States 65-68-73—206 -7
Aaron Rai, England 68-68-70—206 -7
Scottie Scheffler, United States 67-66-73—206 -7
Matt Wallace, England 70-65-71—206 -7
Zac Blair, United States 73-66-68—207 -6
Jason Day, Australia 71-67-69—207 -6
Doug Ghim, United States 69-68-70—207 -6
Tom Hoge, United States 66-73-68—207 -6
Max Homa, United States 68-70-69—207 -6
Billy Horschel, United States 69-69-69—207 -6
Ben Kohles, United States 67-73-67—207 -6
Maverick McNealy, United States 66-72-69—207 -6
Alex Noren, Sweden 67-70-70—207 -6
Corey Conners, Canada 70-71-67—208 -5
Brice Garnett, United States 72-67-69—208 -5
Brian Harman, United States 72-68-68—208 -5
Tyrrell Hatton, England 71-69-68—208 -5
Martin Kaymer, Germany 68-72-68—208 -5
Kurt Kitayama, United States 68-70-70—208 -5
Min Woo Lee, Australia 72-66-70—208 -5
Cameron Smith, Australia 68-70-70—208 -5
Will Zalatoris, United States 71-68-69—208 -5
Alexander Bjork, Sweden 71-67-71—209 -4
Lucas Glover, United States 71-68-70—209 -4
Nicolai Hojgaard, Denmark 70-71-68—209 -4
Brooks Koepka, United States 67-68-74—209 -4
Thorbjorn Olesen, Denmark 69-71-69—209 -4
Braden Shattuck, United States 71-70-68—209 -4
Adam Svensson, Canada 70-69-70—209 -4
Byeong Hun An, South Korea 71-67-72—210 -3
Tommy Fleetwood, England 72-69-69—210 -3
Rickie Fowler, United States 72-69-69—210 -3
Joaquin Niemann, Chile 73-68-69—210 -3
Patrick Reed, United States 69-70-71—210 -3
Cameron Young, United States 69-71-70—210 -3
Patrick Cantlay, United States 70-68-73—211 -2
Luke Donald, England 70-69-72—211 -2
Talor Gooch, United States 71-70-70—211 -2
Adam Hadwin, Canada 68-72-71—211 -2
Stephan Jaeger, Germany 70-71-70—211 -2
Grayson Murray, United States 72-68-71—211 -2
Jesper Svensson, Sweden 68-71-72—211 -2
Erik Van Rooyen, South Africa 72-68-71—211 -2
Gary Woodland, United States 71-69-71—211 -2
Ryan Fox, New Zealand 72-68-72—212 -1
Dustin Johnson, United States 73-68-71—212 -1
Seonghyeon Kim, South Korea 69-72-71—212 -1
Andrew Putnam, United States 68-72-72—212 -1
Rasmus Hojgaard, Denmark 68-72-73—213 E
Jordan L. Smith, England 70-71-72—213 E
Sebastian Soderberg, Sweden 73-67-74—214 +1
Brendon Todd, United States 70-70-74—214 +1
Jeremy Wells, United States 69-71-75—215 +2
Alejandro Tosti, Argentina 68-69-79—216 +3