2024 PGA Championship leaderboard: Xander Schauffele holds slim lead over Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler

Xander Schauffele tops the leaderboard at the 2024 PGA Championship heading into the weekend at Valhalla Golf Club. While the first-round leader was not able to replicate his record-setting performance from a day ago, Schauffele did enough with a second-round 68 to keep his name above the rest.

Schauffele’s 12-under mark ties the lowest 36-hole score in PGA Championship history matching Brooks Koepka’s effort from the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Koepka’s advantage was a touchdown and an extra point at the halfway point in New York, which is a far cry from Schauffele’s slim margin entering the weekend.

Schauffele’s lead was trimmed to one as Collin Morikawa and Sahith Theegala made their moves on Friday. They weren’t the only ones to press the leader, though, as Schauffele’s inability to cash in on convertible birdie opportunities turned a potential runaway into a clustered pack.

While the Olympic gold medalist nevertheless sits out in front, the names behind him loom large. There’s two-time major champion Morikawa, who appears to have found his major form yet again. There’s a blossoming Theegala, who has shown capable of anything and everything.

And then there’s world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who sits inside the top five against all odds after being arrested and released Friday morning. Scheffler still managed to post the third-lowest round of the day with a 5-under 66, bested only by Morikawa and a matching 65 from Matt Wallace.

Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Viktor Hovland, Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama are all within a half dozen strokes — and each has the ability to use Moving Day to its full potential.

All of this became possible when Schauffele played his final eight holes in a 1-over fashion. A 3-putt bogey on No. 11 represents his first and lone dropped shot, but it may be the failed chances coming in that we come back to on Sunday.

Here’s a look at Schauffele’s birdie chances from Nos. 12-18 where he hit every green in regulation in feet: 23, 12, 6, 15, 23, 12, 12.

It’s nit-picking, yes, to put so much stock into an eight-hole stretch on a Friday of a major championship; however, when there’s a leaderboard like this breathing down your neck, ask anyone, and they’d prefer as much wiggle room as possible.

Round 2 leaderboard, 2024 PGA Championship

2. Collin Morikawa (-11): Some guys just have it, and Morikawa is proving again he has the goods when it comes to major championships. The two-time major winner rattled off five straight birdies at one point in his round to take the solo lead and had pushed it out even further before a poor bogey on his final hole. For the second straight major, the 27-year-old heads into the weekend with a chance to claim his third title in less than 20 appearances at such events. He’s hit 13 greens in regulation in both of his rounds, and his putter is cooperating.

“I had belief since day one that I was going to be able to do it, and obviously you want to see the results, but just believing that it’s possible and just knowing that it’s going to happen,” Morikawa said. “I talked before I won Zozo last year, I talked about I know I’m going to win again, it’s just a matter of when, is it going to be tomorrow, is it going to be — but it’s going to happen. I know I still have it in me, and that’s what’s exciting is that after Augusta, it sucked to finish like that and it sucked to lose to Scottie. But at the end of the day, I knew I had three more majors coming up and to prep for that and get things as sharp as possible and just come out strong. It’s obviously nice to get off to this start.”

3. Sahith Theegala (-10): Theegala followed up an opening 65 with a really solid 67 and will be featured in the penultimate group on Saturday. He had momentum rolling early with a 4-under 31 before a wayward swing off the 10th tee led to his lone dropped shot of the day on the par 5. While typically erratic with the driver, he’s been great for much of this season in the driving accuracy department; on Friday, Theegala hit 10 of 13 fairways.

T5. Scottie Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau, Mark Hubbard, Thomas Detry (-9): Scheffler’s absurd morning has been well-documented, and to do what he did on the golf course afterwards may be equally as absurd. The world No. 1 lost to only one man — Morikawa — in the morning wave with his 5-under 66, and he may be the subject of the conversation through 36 holes.

“It was nice to be able to get inside the ropes and do what I love to do,” Scheffler said. “I love competing out here on Tour, I love playing in major championships. I’ve kept myself in the tournament now with a pretty chaotic day, so I’m going to go from here and focus on getting some rest and recovery and get ready for a grind the last two days, and we’ll see how the leaderboard shakes out. But, hopefully I won’t be too far back going into tomorrow.”

If the influx of content from his Masters run wasn’t enough, DeChambeau is at it again at a golf course much better suited for his style of play. The 2020 U.S. Open champion carded one of the rounds of the day with his 6-under 65 and has firmly placed his name into the conversation for the Wanamaker Trophy. DeChambeau’s iron play is beginning to find its footing, and he putted like the man from Winged Foot on Friday.

T8. Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Austin Eckroat (-8): Last year’s runner-up kick-started his round with a hole-out eagle on the short par-4 4th and never looked back. Hovland tacked five more birdies on the way in and has positioned himself to contend at the PGA Championship for the second straight year despite not being seen as much of a contender at the onset of the week. Hovland’s reunion with his old swing coach, Joe Mayo, is paying dividends already. 

T12. Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Wallace, Harris English, Robert MacIntyre (-7): Don’t count him out, but what could have been for Koepka on Friday. He missed all four putts he faced from 3-to-6 feet in his second round and caught a tough break in the fairway on No. 10 when his ball collected mud and caused his approach to go out of bounds. Koepka bounced back from that double-bogey blunder with two straight birdies and another on 15 to get him to 8 under. A pair of bogeys on 16 and 17 was going to leave a sour taste in his mouth before a nice 10-foot birdie landed on the last. 

T16. Justin Thomas, Lucas Herbert, Aaron Rai, Lee Hodges, Dean Burmester (-6): The local lad still has a chance heading into the weekend. Thomas fired a 4-under 67 in Round 2 to keep pace as he looks for his third Wanamaker Trophy since 2017. He’s been spectacular from tee to green across the first 36 holes, but he will need to start holing putts with consistency to make up the deficit. 

T22. Rory McIlroy, Tom Kim, Justin Rose, Doug Ghim, Alex Noren and Alejandro Tosti (-5): Starting his round in ideal fashion with a long-distance connection on the first for an opening birdie, McIlroy reached 6 under and he would remain there up until the 12th where he may have sunk his PGA Championship chances. Standing in the middle of the fairway with a 9 iron in hand, the four-time major champion missed the green and proceeded to make a mess of things, ultimately carding a double bogey. On a day where rounds of 5 and 6 under were out there, McIlroy was stuck in neutral. 

First appeared on www.cbssports.com

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