Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Schauffele admits PGA Championship is the most physically demanding major – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Midweek rain, thick and juicy rough, the bulky Valhalla Golf Club is keeping with the latest PGA Championship trend.

Now in a permanent May home, the major championship with the least grandeur is starting to build its own character. And boy is it strong.

Even the golf course itself doesn’t evoke great memories from it’s two previous PGA Championships and if you are a European Ryder Cup fan, memories of Boo Weekley galloping on a golf club in celebration after a USA trouncing make for unhappy thoughts.

A golf course that lacks in character makes up for in strength. This major championship will be hard won. It’s going to be a long 7609 yard Par 71.

“It feels that way,” said Xander Schauffele when asked if this is becoming the most physically demanding major championship of the four.

For Schauffele who was bullied by Rory McIlroy last Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship, it’s about maintaining his energy levels.

“Yeah, you try and conserve energy. It’s easy when you’re on these massive properties to want to get your game in a perfect spot. Us pros like to keep chipping away at what’s wrong in our game. Just because it’s a major, you want to feel like everything is firing on all cylinders, but at the same time, these rounds are going to be over six hours is my guess. It’s just a long walk. If you and I just went to walk the course, tee box to green to tee box to green, it would take us a couple hours. It’s not like it’s a short walk.

“I think with it being soft, staying focused for all your shots is going to be a big challenge. For me, I’m going to get a little bit of practice in. I’ve tried to practice each morning just depending on the weather, not really knowing this golf course. Get a little bit of training in, and at the end of the day trying to sleep as much as possible because I know come the weekend you’re going to need some rest.”

Schauffele who is still chasing a maiden major title, has not won on the PGA Tour for two seasons, but he feels like he is playing well enough to deal with a “beastly” Valhalla.

“Really good finishing stretch. Just beastly holes in 16, 17 and 18.

“Definitely I think geared up for a really exciting finish, and it’s a beast of a property. With it sort of raining each day, the rough is getting long. The greens are receptive, but the course is still very long. Just because the greens are receptive you’re still coming in with like a 5-, 6-iron and not like a wedge or 9-iron very often.”

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