PGA Championship: Xander Schauffele leads with Scottie Scheffler chasing despite pre-round arrest at Valhalla

17 May 2024, 21:44 | Updated: 18 May 2024, 12:49

Xander Schauffele sits top of the leaderboard after an extraordinary Friday at the PGA Championship, where Scottie Scheffler remains in contention despite being arrested ahead of his second round.

Schauffele, who matched the lowest round in a men's major and carded the first 62 in PGA Championship history on the opening day, added a three-under 68 at Valhalla Golf Club to head into the weekend on 12 under and a shot clear of Collin Morikawa.

Two-time major winner Morikawa fired five consecutive birdies on his way to a second-round 65, the lowest score of the morning wave, which came after play had been delayed by 80 minutes due to a fatal accident outside the course.

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Scheffler was arrested by police after trying to drive into the golf club in heavy traffic caused by the incident, with the world No 1 detained before being released from custody in time to card a remarkable five-under 66 and stay within three strokes of the lead.

Sahith Theegala sits in third on 10 under, with Scheffler - chasing back-to-back major titles and a fifth win in six starts - in tied-fourth alongside Bryson DeChambeau, Mark Hubbard and Thomas Detry.

Incredible Friday at Valhalla

Speculation around whether Scheffler would feature dominated early proceedings when the second round finally got under way at 8.35am local time (1.35pm BST), while Morikawa made a charge up the leaderboard when he followed an opening-round 66 with a six-under 65.

Morikawa - starting on the back nine - birdied the 13th and 18th to reach the turn in 34, then made five in a row from the fourth to get to 12 under before dropping a shot on his final hole of the day.

"The little five-birdie run was me just playing solid golf and sometimes when the putts drop, that's what happened," Morikawa said. "That's the kind of golf I'm going to ask for myself over the next two days and 36 holes, to just stay present, hit shots and execute them.

Scheffler arrived at the course just under an hour before his delayed tee time, having been handed four charges by police for the earlier incident, although shrugged off a rushed start to mix six birdies with a lone bogey.

"I was pretty rattled to say the least," Scheffler admitted. "The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down. I was never angry. I was shaking for like an hour, I would say in shock and in fear."

Schauffele - one of the later starters - drained a 40-footer at the par-three second and temporarily went two clear after three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the seventh, only to miss a five-footer to save par at the 11th and fail to add to his tally over the closing holes.

"When you haven't won a golf tournament in a few years, you have to be pretty resilient," said Schauffele, who matched the championship scoring record set by Brooks Koepka in 2019. "I'm just patient and trying to play the best golf I can and stay out of my own way."

Theegala sits third after a four-under 67 and Detry is three back after a brilliant final-hole eagle, with Hubbard briefly holding a share of the lead during an eventful round that had six birdies and three bogeys.

Last year's runner-up Viktor Hovland is four behind, while Scotland's Robert MacIntyre carded a bogey-bogey finish to drop into the share of 11th that contains defending champion Brooks Koepka and England's Matt Wallace.

Rory McIlroy's bid for a first major in a decade - at the venue he last won the PGA Championship in 2014 - suffered a setback as a level-par 71 left him seven adrift with Justin Rose, as Tiger Woods missed the cut after a six-over 77.

"I need to clean up my rounds," Woods said. "Physically, yes, I am better than I was a month ago [The Masters]. I still have more ways to go, lots of improvement to go physically, and hopefully my team and I can get that done pre-Pinehurst [US Open] and going into it."

Play was suspended due to darkness at 8.41pm local time (1.41am BST), with 17 players now required to return on Saturday morning to complete their rounds. The cut is currently projected to be at one under, which would leave Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick among those not part of the weekend action.

Chamblee: Scheffler's composure was 'astonishing'

Brandel Chamblee on Scheffler's day...

"Given the unimaginable chaos his day would have started with, his ability to reset,find composure, and de-escalate heightened emotions.

"He talked about in his post-round remarks how he was able to work down his heartrate and find that composure, find that focus, and get out there and play golf.

"It was nothing short of astonishing. From start to finish he was present which is hard to believe.

"The fact he was able to find that composure was absolutely astonishing."

McGinley: We could see the shock unfold on Saturday

Paul McGinley on Schefflers day...

"His template of this game is so strong and he knows what he does inside out.

"He knows his feelings, he knows his fundamental, and he has rehearsed it so often.

"It was like a compartmentalisation, back in to what he does, and the thoughts and process of all of it.

"I am not sure he is fully through all of it and it will be interesting to see how he reacts on Saturday because sometimes the shock comes 24 hours later.

"So let's just see tomorrow. It was a pretty traumatic today and being a man of strong christian faith like he is, it will really hurt him, and he will have a lot of empathy for the man who passed away."

On Schauffele's victory chances...

"The way the course is playing, somebody is well capable on the weekend of running through this field and particularly someone coming through with a 63 or 64 and maybe overtaking him.

"So, he has got to keep the foot down. It is not about protecting, it is about keep going forward.

"The more daylight he can put from the rest of the field the better.

"I think there is certainly a missed opportunity today but there will be more chances.

"I think if he keeps playing the quality golf he does, having the intensity and focus, the lack of mistakes, only one bogey in 36 holes, he is going to be a very hard man to beat."

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