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From Xander Schauffele's win to Scottie Scheffler's arrest, PGA Championship had something for all

The 2024 PGA Championship will be, well. memorable for many reasons. The arrest of the No. 1 player in the world is just one of those reasons.

Scottie Scheffler’s arrest Friday morning was a story outside of the world of sports or hitting a golf ball. It was a story of a tragic traffic fatality that spilled over into traffic issues that produced confusion on both sides of the arrest. It is a story that will be remembered for years to come.

But the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville had other reasons, less serious reasons, to be remembered as the game of golf moves forward.

For instance:

Xander Schauffele’s major

There is a local angle to Xander Schauffele finally getting his first major title, beyond the idea that Schauffele played in the desert as a college star at San Diego State in the Prestige golf tournament at PGA West. Schauffele returned to The American Express tournament in 2023 after skipping the tournament for years. He finished third that year, including a final-round 62, and in 2024 he tied for third in the La Quinta tournament. With that track record, you have to expect him to return to The American Express in 2025 and this time with a major title to his credit. By the way, Scheffler has been a fixture at The American Express for years and is the current Masters champion.

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Traffic issues

Valhalla is located in an older part of Louisville with large homes and large parcels of land and infrastructure not up to the standards needed for a professional golf tournament these days. It took members of the general public as long as an hour to stand in line to get to a shuttle bus that then took 30 minutes to reach the golf course. The same was true for people leaving the course to get back to their cars.  The American Express had huge traffic issues in 2020 because of large concert crowds, but those issues were fixed – albeit with far fewer people who attended the PGA Championship – by the next time fans were allowed at the tournament.

United competition

No, Jon Rahm didn’t make the cut, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed were well off the pace and most LIV golfers were not heard from in the PGA Championship. But Brooks Koepka was the defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau played well enough to win the title and Dean Burmester had his name on the leaderboard much of the week. Majors still give golf fans a chance to see both PGA Tour and LIV golfers playing side by side. Not every PGA Tour event would feature fields as strong and deep as the majors, but the majors show us what a reunited game could look like.

Bryson’s charge

Speaking of DeChambeau, his roller-coaster career continued with his second strong major in a row. A 64 Sunday forced Schauffele to birdie the last hole for a 65 to win the title. DeChambeau has a history of running hot and cold with his game, and some fans are turned off by his tendency to come off as the smartest guy in the room. But he’s a past U.S. Open winner, led the Masters this year and nearly won the PGA. The U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June will see him as one of the focal points of the week.

Tiger’s troubles

Woods, a four-time PGA Championship winner, never was part of the conversation again and missed the cut after a stumbling start to his second round with triple bogeys on two of his first four holes. Some fans wonder why Woods, five years from his last victory and clearly not in competitive shape because of injuries and a limited schedule, still garners attention in the game. Fifteen major wins and 82 career PGA Tour victories is the answer to that question. But after making the cut at the Masters, Woods missed the cut at Valhalla and probably won’t play again until the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. It might be time for those hoping for one last flash of glory from Woods to let those hopes slip away.

Larry Bohannan is the golf writer for The Desert Sun. You can contact him at (760) 778-4633 or at larry.bohannan@desertsun.com. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @larry_bohannan. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Desert Sun.

Larry Bohannan
Larry Bohannan
(Richard Lui The Desert Sun)
Larry Bohannan Larry Bohannan (Richard Lui The Desert Sun)

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Xander Schauffele's win, Scottie Scheffler's arrest defined PGA Championship