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Xander's record 62 enough for 3-shot lead at Valhalla

Keyur Khamar / PGA TOUR / Getty

For the second time in a year, Xander Schauffele set a new single-round scoring record at a major championship.

The World No. 3 made nine birdies and zero bogeys en route to a 62 on Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club to set the PGA Championship mark. His brilliant display comes almost 11 months to the day after he and Rickie Fowler broke the U.S. Open record with opening-round 62s at Los Angeles Country Club.

Schauffele's incredible round sees him hold a three-stroke edge on Tony Finau, Sahith Theegala, and Mark Hubbard, with Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa among those in a group four shots back.

Place Player Round 1 score Total to par
1 Xander Schauffele 62 -9
T-2 Tony Finau 65 -6
T-2 Sahith Theegala 65 -6
T-2 Mark Hubbard 65 -6
T-5 Rory McIlroy 66 -5
T-5 Collin Morikawa 66 -5
T-5 Robert MacIntyre 66 -5
T-5 Tom Kim 66 -5
T-5 Tom Hoge 66 -5
T-5 Thomas Detry 66 -5
T-5 Maverick McNealy 66 -5
T-12 Scottie Scheffler 67 -4
T-12 Brooks Koepka 67 -4
T-12 Taylor Moore 67 -4
T-12 Alex Noren 67 -4
T-12 Austin Eckroat 67 -4
T-12 Ben Kohles 67 -4

There have now been four rounds of 62 in major championship history, with Schauffele shooting half of them. The 2020 Olympic gold medalist acknowledged that he rates Thursday's performance right alongside last year's.

"Up there, I'd say," Schauffele said on the ESPN broadcast. "Again, it's just one day, but I'm very happy with how I played, very content with the shots I hit and the putts I rolled. Can't really think much more of it, have to go tee it up again tomorrow."

It's the latest in a period of strong performances for Schauffele as the 30-year-old searches for his first career major championship. He held the 54-hole lead in both the Players Championship in March and the Wells Fargo Championship last week.

While Schauffele exploded to an unmatched level, he was far from the only player who took advantage of a pillow-soft Valhalla. A total of 64 players broke par on Thursday, the most ever in the opening round of a PGA Championship. Finau, Theegala, and Hubbard are the closest challengers to the lead, but McIlroy and Morikawa are sitting four back, while Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka are five off the pace.

Both McIlroy and Morikawa relied on incredible short-game performances to shoot 5-under for the day - the exact same score McIlroy fired when he won his last major at this venue a decade ago. Scheffler eagled his opening hole of the day, while Koepka did the same on his 16th to post 4-under for the day. Both are still firmly in the tournament - Koepka's win at Oak Hill last year came despite trailing by six after the opening round.

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