Taylor leads rain-soaked Phoenix Open by 1 shot

Taylor leads rain-soaked Phoenix Open by 1 shot
By: ESPN GOLF Posted On: February 11, 2024 View: 35

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nick Taylor held a 1-shot lead at 13 under with 12 holes left in his third round when play was suspended Saturday because of darkness at the waterlogged Phoenix Open.

The field will play catch-up at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday, led by Taylor, who continued to ride his fast start after matching the course record with an 11-under 60 to finish his first round Friday. The Canadian completed just six holes Saturday, with one birdie and five pars. Sunday's action will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Sahith Theegala used five birdies on the back nine of the second round early Saturday to shoot a 64 and take a 1-shot lead into the third. He bogeyed his first two holes of the third but made a birdie on No. 4 to pull within a stroke.

The 35-year-old Taylor is going for his fourth PGA Tour victory. The former University of Washington star lives in the area. He won the Canadian Open last year in a playoff, which was also a raucous atmosphere, though nothing's quite like TPC Scottsdale.

"Tried to stay warm, get loose," Taylor said. "It was a pretty good six holes, even if it was cold and windy."

Doug Ghim and Andrew Novak were 11 under, with Jordan Spieth and Cameron Young at 10 under.

Scottie Scheffler -- eyeing his third straight Phoenix Open win -- was 5 shots back at 8 under. He's trying for the first three-peat on the PGA Tour in 13 years.

It's been a soggy tournament so far in the desert, though the weather was drier by Saturday afternoon. A long weather delay Thursday left half the field needing to finish their first rounds on Friday, and a 90-minute frost delay Friday pushed tee times back even more.

That moved much of the second round into Saturday, and there was another delay -- this one for just 21 minutes -- in the morning because of unplayable conditions.

The leaders teed off for the third round at 4:10 p.m., giving them about two hours on the course before play was suspended.

Sunday's forecast is dry and slightly warmer, though there could be another frost delay.

Theegala shot up the leaderboard on the back nine of the second round early Saturday, with birdies on Nos. 11, 13, 14, 15 and 17. The 26-year-old -- a three-time All-America selection at Pepperdine -- won his first PGA Tour title last year at the Fortinet Championship.

"After the first few holes, we finally got scoreable conditions," Theegala said. "No wind, soft greens, which is rare out here."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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