XANDER SCHAUFFELE hoists The Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. — REUTERS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Xander Schauffele finally got his major championship, and he did it in dramatic fashion.

Mr. Schauffele capped off the lowest winning score to par in major championship history with a six-foot birdie putt that rolled around the cup and in on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship on Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club.

The birdie gave Mr. Schauffele a final-round 65, a 21-under-par 263 for the week and a one-stroke victory over Bryson DeChambeau, who 20 minutes earlier made a birdie on the par-5 18th hole to post a seven-under 64 and tie him for the lead.

“I really didn’t want to go into a playoff against Bryson. I’m assuming we probably would have played 18,” Mr. Schauffele said.

Well, it would have been a three-hole playoff, but that didn’t matter after Mr. Schauffele made birdie.

Mr. Schauffele held at least a share of the lead after each round. The Olympic gold medalist shot an opening-round 62 Thursday, breaking the course and PGA Championship record, before holding off a number of challengers throughout the wild weekend to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy.

Many considered Mr. Schauffele, 30, the best player in the world without a major title before Sunday. “Yeah, I was actually kind of emotional after the putt lipped in,” Schauffele said. “It’s been a while since I’ve won, and I really just kept saying it all week, I just need to stay in my lane. Man, was it hard to stay in my lane today.

“But I tried all day to just keep focus on what I’m trying to do and keep every hole ahead of me. Had some weird kind of breaks coming into the house, but it’s all good now.”

The California native became the first player since Phil Mickelson at Baltusrol in 2005 to win the PGA Championship by one with a birdie on the last hole.

It was the first victory of any kind for Mr. Schauffele since July 2022, when he won the Scottish Open. He had previously started in 27 major championships, and finished in the top 10 a whopping 12 times. He was the runner-up in the 2019 Masters  to Tiger Woods. 

But this time, Mr. Schauffele was able to celebrate.

“I think I’d probably be a little bit less of a patient person if that putt didn’t lip in,” he said. “… It (a playoff) would have been a lot of work. I just told myself, ‘This is my opportunity, and just capture it.’”

Mr. Schauffele began the day tied with Collin Morikawa at 15 under par. He had to fend off a number of challengers.

Viktor Hovland of Norway (66 Sunday) took the lead after making birdie on six of his first 13 holes. He had a shot to get to 20 under but three-putted on the 18th hole for bogey and finished third at 18 under.

Mr. Morikawa was left behind as he made 14 straight pars to begin his round; he didn’t make birdie until the last hole and shot an even-par 71, tying him with Belgium’s Thomas Detry (66) for fourth at 15 under.

Justin Rose of England and Shane Lowry of Ireland both started the day within striking distance but made five bogeys between the two of them and tied for sixth at 14 under. Mr. Rose posted a 69 and Lowry settled for a 70.

And then there was Mr. DeChambeau, who was aiming for his second major. A 10-foot birdie putt on 18 pulled him into a tie with Mr. Schauffele.

“Yeah, I seriously thought 18 was going to do it,” Mr. DeChambeau said. “Then when I saw what Xander was doing, it’s like, man, he’s playing some unbelievable golf. Viktor was right there. I mean, he was beating me for quite a while, and I was hitting it all over the place.

“But, yeah, I mean, it was an impressive, impressive round of golf by all three of us. I don’t know what else to say. It was just difficult.”

Playing in the final group, Mr. Schauffele came to No. 18 with around 40,000 fans crammed behind the green and down the fairways. His drive rolled into the left rough. He was close enough to the bunker that he had to stand in the sand.

The second shot was down the left side of the fairway and settled about 40 yards short of the green. He hit a great chip to set up his championship-clinching putt. Schauffele then thrust both hands in the air in celebration.

“I am very satisfied and I’m tired,” Mr. Schauffele said. “Once I sat down in scoring, I felt a little bit more tired. But just a whirlwind of emotions. I knew I had to birdie the last hole, looking up at the board. I was trying to squeak a birdie in there somehow just to have some kind of cushion. It was a hectic birdie, as well, but it was awesome.

“I kept telling myself, ‘I need to earn this, I need to prove this to myself and this is my time.’” — Reuters