No. 1 Scheffler, a new father, reaches Valhalla for PGA Championship | National

New father Scottie Scheffler arrived in Valhalla Monday afternoon and began practicing for the 106th PGA Championship, seeking his third major title and fifth victory in six starts.

World number one Scheffler, who captured his second Masters title last month, has been sitting out the past three weeks while his wife Meredith gave birth to their first child, a son named Bennett, whose arrival last week set the stage for Scheffler to compete for the Wanamaker Trophy.

“I had high expectations for what that would feel like and they were far exceeded,” Scheffler told The Golf Channel. “I thought it would be pretty amazing and it’s a pretty amazing feeling.

“It was quite a challenge getting out of the house this morning, but I’m here, I’m committed to playing this week, I’m excited to compete here. When I left I said to my little man, ‘I do don’t want to leave, but I have to go.

The status of the 27-year-old American was uncertain and there was no public confirmation of the baby’s arrival. Scheffler said he was able to get “good work in, but not my usual stuff” for the big showdown.

“I feel like I’m extremely prepared,” Scheffler said. “I feel like I’m in a good place.”

Scheffler has won four of his past five starts, with only a playoff loss at the Houston Open keeping him from completing a perfect stretch that included Bay Hill and The Players in March and the Masters and Heritage in April.

“I was called to come here and do things the best I could. I knew I had to be here today to get some practice,” he said. “It would have been a challenge if I had left on Wednesday night, but this morning it was quite challenging.

As for those challenges, Scheffler asked, “If anyone has any diaper advice, I can use it.”

Scheffler spent time on the practice court and short game area, including chatting with defending champion Brooks Koepka and two-time major winner Jon Rahm, before playing the back nine.

“I’m sure he’d like to talk about something other than golf right now,” said Rahm, a father himself.

Scheffler said he was happy to be able to see players and receive their congratulations on Monday.

“A bigger break than I would have had, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Scheffler said.

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“As the week goes on, I get more and more into what I’m doing. Just try to do my best to stay as present on the golf course as possible.”

Scheffler and world number two Rory McIlroy will both tee off on Thursday after winning their previous two starts, Scheffler at Augusta National and the Heritage.

McIlroy’s wins came last month in a pairs event with Ireland’s Shane Lowry and Sunday with his fourth career title at Quail Hollow at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Four-time major winner McIlroy earned his most recent major victory 10 years ago at Valhalla, beating Phil Mickelson by one stroke for his second PGA championship.

“I’m a much better player now than I was then,” McIlroy said on Sunday. “I haven’t had the big record to back that up, but I’ve had the wins.

“Since 2014, I’ve done everything else there is to do in the game. All I have to do is get another major.”

The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland has achieved 20 top-10 finishes in 35 major starts since the Valhalla win ten years ago, which followed two previous victories.

Third-ranked Xander Schauffele, looking for his first major title, has recorded 19 top-10 finishes since his most recent PGA Tour victory at the 2022 Scottish Open – a 22-month victory drought.

– Wet weather expected –

Storms are expected to bring rain ahead of Thursday’s opening round, with further storms forecast from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth makes a seventh attempt at completing a Grand Slam career by winning the PGA Championship. The American won the 2015 Masters and US Open and the 2017 British Open, but his best PGA finish was second place in 2015.

Five-time major winner Koepka won at Oak Hill last year, becoming the first active LIV golfer to take a major crown.