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How did the 2024 PGA Championship end? With Xander Schaueffele lifting the Wanamaker and winning by just one stroke. The 1x major winner found a bunker from the tee on the 17th hole but saved par. All he needed on the 18th to win was a birdie, and he did just that. He putted, saw the ball rolling into the cup, and got emotional. After all, the “best player never to win a major” finally won one. And, well, not only did he end his losing streak, but he also may have made a few fellow competitors upset.

Even though his last win came at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open, Xander Schauffele has been pretty consistent. This year itself, the PGA Tour pro has had five top-five finishes (excluding Valhalla). Now, his win at the 2024 PGA Championship naturally reshuffled the Official World Golf Rankings. This, in turn, proved to be nothing short of detrimental to Rory McIlroy, who finished T12 in Valhalla.

The Northern Irishman had cemented his place at the No.2 spot on the world rankings with his 10 and 12 top-10 finishes in the Jay Monahan-led circuit in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Schauffele’s victory, however, helped him push past the 35-year-old and clinch the second spot on the OWGR while also qualifying for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. The golfer moved from No.3 to No.2, his career’s best ranking.

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Speaking about his win, Schauffele said, “I was emotional after the [winning] putt lipped in. It’s been a while since I’ve won. I really did not want to go into a play-off with Bryson.” DeChambeau missed out on his second major victory by just one stroke. That said, considering Schauffele ended his losing streak, his loved ones were beyond happy for him as well. “My dad is in Hawaii, and I managed to call him, but I had to hang up quickly because he was making me cry.” And why wouldn’t they be happy, seeing as he’s Paris-bound now? Speaking of the Olympics…

As per the golf qualification criteria for the Summer Games, the top 15 players from the world rankings become automatically eligible for the event. Even so, it’s not as if all the golfers from a particular country inside the top 15 will qualify, as there is a maximum limit of 4 athletes from a single nation.

This paints a happy picture for the 2024 PGA Championship winner. Why? Well, the 1-time major champ and Scottie Scheffler (current No. 1 with 676.73025 points) boast a huge gap to the 3rd highest-ranked American, Wyndham Clark, at No. 4 (322.71287 points) when it comes to points. With the huge difference in points they have between themselves, too, it’s unlikely that anyone will challenge them for a guaranteed spot on the U.S. Golf Team at the Olympics, which starts on July 26.

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This has become possible for Schauffele all thanks to his recent finish, which awarded him a whopping 100 points on the OWGR. It helped him reach a tally of 252.99264 points in just the 2024 season alone, allowing him to total a figure of 384.94798, thereby clinching the No. 2 spot on the rankings, upsetting McIlroy. Meanwhile, his ascension in the ranking spells trouble for the other Americans who are closely following.

The implications of Xander Schauffele claiming the No.2 spot on OWGR

Schauffele cementing his place as No.2 means that there will only be two spots left for other Americans when it comes to the Olympic qualifications. With four more events left before the prestigious event (the Charles Schwab Challenge, the RBC Canadian Open, the Memorial Tournament Presented by Workday, and the U.S. Open), Wyndham Clark and Patrick Cantlay will have to ready themselves for a tense fight to hold on to the next two spots.

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The U.S. Open, being a major tournament, will award the champion with 100 points. Moreover, the Charles Schwab Challenge, a signature event, will also grant considerable points to the winner. Especially so since the past two elevated tournaments awarded 60.84044 to Rory McIlroy and 63.90778 to Scheffler at the Wells Fargo Championship and RBC Heritage respectively.

Next in line are Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Brian Harman, and Sahith Theegala, all within touching distance. With Scheffler and Schauffele having already qualified, it’s likely that the two pros joining them will be from these six names. It’s safe to say we’ve got a couple of exciting months in the build-up to the Paris Olympics.

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