The PGA gave golf fans around the world a sensational finish on May 19. Truth is, the field played superbly at Valhalla, which left some critics with questions about the challenges of that beautiful course.

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist

Was the course too easy?

Granted, the major tournaments historically are supposed to be played on the PGA tour’s most difficult courses. But it is refreshing to see so many players at a major finishing well under par.

And on that subject, Xander Schauffele’s 21-under supposedly is a major tournament record, or at least a record for The PGA. That being the case, where does this leave Bryson DeChambeau, who played magnificently in the final round to post a 20-under tournament score. Does this mean he had the best runner-up PGA four-round number of all-time?

With Schauffele, DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland being in a position on the back nine to win the title, there was lots of clutch golf play as they moved toward the 18th hole, where Schauffele’s birdie clinched his first major title.

Also notable were Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler. Thomas was playing in his home state in front of thousands of Kentuckians hoping for him to capture the crown. He did not win but he tied for eighth, which was worth $521,478. After the tournament he said that he was sad to see it end, because he was having so much fun. Good for him.


Scheffler’s brush with the law on May 17 naturally drew a great deal of media attention. His Jefferson County, Kentucky, court hearing has been rescheduled for June 3.

Yes, what Scheffler did clearly was breaking the law, but the arresting officer’s aggressiveness made this whole incident into something greater than it needed to be. Despite this, Scheffler played well with one exception. His May 24 third round kept him from being a contender in the final round. Was it because his caddie was absent, attending his son’s high school graduation? Possibly. But Scottie still finished tied for eighth. Not bad. And he still is No. 1 in the FedEx standings.

There were poor performances, some unexpected and others predictable. Among those who did not make the cut were Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Hall of Fame past PGA champions. Age is catching up to Mickelson, and body failure is Tiger’s problem.

It was surprising, however, that Jon Rahm and Wyndham Clark failed to make the cut. That appears to be further proof that even the top world golfers can have off days and off tournaments. The smart money says that Rahm will be back at the top of PGA major leaderboards. It’s not if, just when. Clark needs to prove that his 2023 success was not just a streak of good luck.

Golf fans generally would agree that the 2024 PGA was as exciting and entertaining as a Major can get.

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Maine Golf has a Men’s Playday scheduled for May 28 at Cape Neddick, while the Women’s Playday is May 28 at Springbrook and Point Sebago.


Bill Kennedy, a retired New Jersey golf writer and editor now residing on Thompson Lake in Otisfield, is in his 12th season as Sun Journal golf columnist. 

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