'Stay In My Lane' - Xander Schauffele Not Making Any Special Plans As He Looks To Break Major Duck At Valhalla

The 30-year-old is in the final group at Valhalla on Sunday alongside two-time Major winner, Collin Morikawa

Xander Schauffele stands with both hands on his hips at the 2024 PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele insists his game plan at the PGA Championship on Sunday will not be any different to normal - despite the American standing on the precipice of a first Major title.

Schauffele and Collin Morikawa lead a tightly-bunched leaderboard at Valhalla on 15-under, with Morikawa hunting a second PGA Championship and a third Major overall.

Schauffele opened up the week with a superb 62 before chaining together consecutive rounds of 68 to put himself in a strong position at Valhalla. It could have been even better, too, if not for a double bogey on the 15th on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Morikawa - who won the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park for his first Major - has gone 66-65-67 and appears well capable of going low once more.

But the pressure is likely to be felt more intensely by Schauffele on Sunday given the 30-year-old has not lifted a trophy since July 2022, despite being in several excellent positions to end that run - most recently at the Wells Fargo Championship and before that, the Genesis Invitational.

Xander Schauffele takes off his glove in front of a Wells Fargo board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The San Diego-born golfer held a one-stroke advantage over Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow earlier this month but ultimately fell by five. Schauffele also trailed close friend Patrick Cantlay by two at Riviera prior to both fading badly as Hideki Matsuyama stormed to victory.

Far from promising he will correct past mistakes and use learned lessons on a day where a low score is likely to be required in order to reign supreme, Schauffele says he will stick to his tried-and-tested game plan.

Asked how he will approach Sunday, Schauffele said: "Just like any other tournament for the most part. It's another Sunday. I typically love Sundays. I think I need to really just stay in my lane and do a lot of what I've been doing and just worry about myself.

"I mean, I said it yesterday... it's funny, so there's blood in the water. Everyone kind of laughed, and then Shane Lowry almost shot 61 today. Yeah, I imagine someone in that threshold now that it's been done twice is going to shoot something low and post a number early. I imagine that's going to happen. Like I said, just staying in my lane is what's going to make me play well."

Schauffele was later asked about what it would mean for him to make a long-awaited return to the winner's circle - a trip that is overdue given the World No.3's supremely-consistent play in 2024.

Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele at the RBC Heritage

Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele at the RBC Heritage earlier this season

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In classic Schauffele style, his response was modest. He said: "It would mean a lot. At the end of the day, it's just a result. Winning a tournament is just a result. All I can focus on are good golf shots and striking good putts.

"At the end of the day, wherever the cards fall, they fall. Yeah, it would mean a lot, obviously. It really is just a result. But yeah, like I said, it would mean a ton."

Schauffele and Morikawa will begin their final rounds at 2.35pm local time on Sunday, with the weather forecast in Louisville set fair for an uninterrupted day of action.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.