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Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin lead as WM Phoenix Open called for darkness

Canadians Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin shot 5-under 66 to share the early lead when play was suspended due to darkness at the WM Phoenix Open on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

A frost delay Thursday morning delayed the start of the round nearly two hours, and 68 players had yet to complete their rounds when play was called for the day. Those players will finish their rounds Friday morning at TPC Scottsdale.

One shot behind Taylor and Hadwin, Xander Schauffele was in the clubhouse with a 67. He was tied at 4 under with Australian Jason Day and Jim Herman, each of whom had several holes left to play. Taylor had an eventful start to his day, with an eagle 3 at the third hole erased by a double-bogey 6 at No. 6. But after making the turn in 1 over par, he caught fire with four straight birdies at Nos. 10-13 and added two more for a 6-under 30 coming in.

“The front I feel like is a tougher nine. You probably don’t have as many chances as the back,” Taylor said. “To kind of see some putts roll in on 10 and 11 was nice and obviously to continue that on 12, was lucky to make a nice relatively easy birdie with a nice chip on 13. I wanted to keep it going because I knew I was swinging nice and hit a bunch of greens. To make birdies on 16 and 17 to cap it off was nice.”

Hadwin started his day on the back nine and shook off his only bogey of the round with a bounce-back birdie at the par-3 12th, where he stuck his tee shot to 3 feet of the hole. He made three straight birdies at Nos. 17, 18 and 1 and finished the day with six in all.

“Canadian golf has been in a great place for a while now, (with) Corey (Conners) and Mackenzie (Hughes) kind of leading the way,” Hadwin said. “We had Adam Svensson winning this year, as well, along with Mackenzie. It’s a great group to be a part of.

“I’m really disappointed I didn’t get to 6 under because I saw Nick up there, and I wanted to hold it over him tonight.”

Taylor has won twice on tour, most recently in February 2020, while Hadwin has prevailed just once, back in 2017. Schauffele also started on the back nine and did most of his damage over the first 10 holes. He added a 10-foot birdie at the par-4 fifth to get to five birdies and just one bogey on the card. The popular tournament is serving as one of the PGA Tour’s news “designated events” with elevated purses and guaranteed participation from certain high-wattage stars. Among them, Spaniard Jon Rahm was 3 under through 13 when play stopped. Tony Finau, England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and South Korea’s Sungjae Im were in at 1-under 70, while Scottie Scheffler and Norway’s Viktor Hovland were 1 under with some holes to play.

Justin Thomas was 1 over through 12 holes and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over 73. The purse this week is $20 million, and the winner will take home a $3.6 million share.

“It feels just like another week, to be completely honest,” Schauffele said. “We’re not really thinking — I’m assuming most of the guys aren’t really thinking about the payout when they’re playing golf, but I can’t speak for everybody.” –Field Level Media


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