PGA Championship

Sunday Notebook from PGA of America Pool Reporter Jeff Babineau

May 19, 2024


Jeff Babineau


Exhausting week for No. 1 Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler made par at his final hole on Sunday, walked from the 18th green to the scoring area, and once there, put his head down on the table. He was exhausted. It had been a long, strange, and unforgettable week.

“I think I about fell asleep,” said the 27-year-old Scheffler, the game’s top-ranked player, who finished off his fifth PGA Championship with a round of 6-under 65, his best round of the week. Scheffler finished the Championship at 13-under 271. “I’m just kind of wondering what time bedtime is.”

Scheffler had a chaotic start to Friday, a day marred by the death of a tournament vendor who was crossing a road in front of Valhalla on his way to work. Scheffler said a misunderstanding with an officer as he tried to drive into the club in darkness and rain led to him being arrested, booked and sent to jail for processing by Louisville police.

While in jail, Scheffler stretched, not knowing if he would get out in time to play his second round. He got out to make his tee time, and somehow shot 66.

By Saturday, though, Scheffler's usual energy was down, and he shot 73, his first over-par round since the PGA Tour Championship in August. Scheffler was quick to point out on Sunday that he wasn’t blaming his bad round on what had happened around him. He did, however, say that he did not feel like himself on Saturday, beginning with his pre-round warmup.

Sunday, he made a late kick by shooting 5-under 31 over his final nine to push his way into the top 10. Valhalla was his 20th appearance in a major and Scheffler has been inside the top 10 now on 11 occasions.

“I think on the golf course, I've always been proud of my toughness out there,” Scheffler told CBS after his round. “I love competing, I love trying to get the most out of my game out here, and I typically try to keep the off-course life as quiet as possible, and this week obviously was not that way, so was a bit different in that sense.

“I'm proud of how Teddy (Ted Scott, his caddie) and I went around this week and competed and was able to post a decent finish towards the end of the week kind of running on fumes.”

Scheffler, who became a first-time father when his wife, Meredith, gave birth to a son the week before the PGA Championship, was headed home to Dallas, where this week he plans to compete in the Charles Schwab Championship at Colonial.

Koepka saved his best for last

Defending PGA Champion Brooks Koepka closed out the 106th PGA Championship on Sunday with his best round of the week, shooting 5-under 66 at Valhalla Golf Club. A third-round 74 kept him from being any sort of a factor on Sunday; it is difficult for Koepka to be anything but unhappy when he is not a contender in a major.

“Yesterday I don't think I did one thing good at all,” said Koepka, a three-time PGA Champion who owns five majors. “Usually when you play bad, you've got one thing that you do okay and you might putt bad, or you might drive it bad. Yesterday was just a combination of everything.”

When he performed below expectations last month at the Masters, where he tied for 45th, Koepka said he put himself through a week of grueling “punishment workouts.” He said his play at Valhalla likely will call for more.

“I feel like I'm playing good. It's just, yesterday was just kind of unfortunate timing,” he said. “But I felt like I'm playing all right. I missed a bunch of putts on Friday from inside like 5 feet, and then yesterday's round was unfortunate.

“But other than that, I think I'm pretty close to right there.”

Next up major-wise for Koepka will be next month’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Valhalla marked Koepka’s 40th career major championship appearance. He has made 35 cuts, but on Sunday fell a little bit shy of collecting his 19th career top-10 finish.

Six of those top 10s have arrived at the PGA Championship.

Short shots: Scotland's Robert McIntyre made eagle on the par-5 18th hole to finish the final round below par (70) and climb into the top 10, earning his way into next May's PGA Championship at Quail Hollow... Upcoming venues for the PGA Championship: 2025, Quail Hollow; 2026, Aronimink; 2027, Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco; 2028, Olympic Club; 2029, Baltusrol; 2030, Congressional; 2031, Kiawah Island (Ocean Course).