Golf

Monday Leaderboard: PGA Championship wrap, Korda takes No. 6, more Tour drama

Monday Leaderboard: PGA Championship wrap, Korda takes No. 6, more Tour drama

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Welcome to the Monday Leaderboard, where we run down the weekend’s top stories in the wonderful world of golf. Grab an Arnold Palmer, pull up a chair, and stay on good terms with local law enforcement …

The U.S. Open will be here before we know it, so before we turn the page completely on this year’s PGA Championship, let’s take one last look at Xander Schauffele’s magnificent 72nd-hole victory. The PGA Championship can struggle with its identity, but it almost always delivers a spectacular finish. Purists can complain that the courses are set up to create low scores and bunched leaderboards, and there’s merit to that complaint. But someone’s got to fight their way out of that snarl, and give Schauffele credit for going wire-to-wire and remaining steady throughout. Maybe this leads to more majors, maybe this is a validation of a lifetime of hard work, but either way, it’s a notable victory for one of the best players of his era.

As for Valhalla itself … this might be the last championship it hosts, now that it’s no longer owned by the PGA. The course is a bit of a relic from a past era — the demands it makes on players aren’t particularly difficult for this current crew — and its infrastructure, like the single road in and out, is a challenge. But the galleries were exceptional, the views spectacular, and the golf thrilling … even if it wasn’t quite the toughest test we’ll ever see. Valhalla deserves another major one day, and Schauffele will be the first one back.

(Bruno Rouby/Yahoo Sports illustration)

After his round on Sunday, Scottie Scheffler was so exhausted he nearly put his head down on the scorer’s table and passed out. No wonder; he’d been through some of the most emotionally demanding moments of his life over the last two weeks, from the birth of his child to an unexpected Friday arrest and four criminal charges. He’ll face arraignment on those charges on Tuesday … or maybe not. According to No Laying Up, prosecutors are considering dropping all charges against Scheffler. Without speculating on why that might be, it’s likely everyone involved wants to put this entire ugly little misunderstanding behind them. And all that was lost was a pair of pants.

Although it got lost in the swirl of the PGA Championship, Nelly Korda’s victory at the Mizuho Americas Open marked her sixth win of this spectacular season. She outran a crowded leaderboard and outdueled Hannah Green on the final hole to capture the victory. Korda is now the first American to win six times on the LPGA Tour since 1990. Only three other players in LPGA history have won six times before June 1. Korda’s victory was a welcome reversal of bad news for the Mizuho, which saw 10 players withdraw from the tournament with a variety of illnesses.

In the immediate aftermath of Schauffele’s victory, news broke that another independent PGA Tour Policy Board member has stepped down from his post. Mark Flaherty resigned with a letter to his fellow board members that didn’t include the lacerating “no meaningful progress” edge of fellow former board member Jimmy Dunne. What do these resignations mean for the PGA Tour and hopes for any sort of agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund? It’s early and it’s murky, but it’s apparent that the players on the board — not the PGA Tour infrastructure — have the upper hand right now. That could mean trouble for the tenure of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, and trouble for the “framework agreement” as well. As much fun as it was seeing LIV and Tour players go at it this weekend, it’s likely that we’ll only see that in majors for the foreseeable future.

Tommy Fleetwood eagled his final hole to make the cut on the number at the PGA Championship, but all that got him was a paycheck. Dig on Harry Higgs, who holed out for eagle on his final hole to force a playoff at the 2024 AdventHealth Championship … and then won the playoff!

It was a hell of a win for a guy who grew up near the tournament site in Kansas City, and it marked Higgs’ first win on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2019. All wins are good wins, but ones that come about like that you remember forever.

Spieth didn’t give us much to work with this week, aside from his hellacious attempt to drive the green on the picturesque par-4 13th on Sunday. (He ended up in the water.) So we turn to Adam Hadwin, who managed to convince a fan to strip to their skivvies and dive in the water to retrieve a club of his:

Reasonable request to make of a fan. Hope the guy at least got a signed ball.

Swing away and roll ‘em true this week, friends, and we’ll see you back here next Monday!

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