Friday, February 23, 2024

Scottie Scheffler Shoots 66 to Move Into Contention to Win a Third Straight Phoenix Open

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler surged into contention to win a third straight Phoenix Open on Sunday, overcoming a huge mistake on the 18th hole to shoot a 5-under 66 in the weather-delayed third round.

Scheffler was at 13 under, two shots behind Sahith Theegala and Nick Taylor as players struggle to avoid a Monday finish amid a second straight week of weather issues on the PGA Tour.

Scheffler is vying to become the first player to three-peat at a PGA Tour event since Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.

Taylor, the overnight leader, saved par on No. 18 after being forced to lay up and shot 68. Theegala matched Taylor’s two-putt birdie on the short par-4 17th to tie for the lead and shot 69.

Charley Hoffman had four straight birdies to close out a 64 and was tied with Andrew Novak at 14 under.

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A week after the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was cut short, weather again wreaked havoc at TPC Scottsdale.

A long weather delay pushed the first round into Friday, and the tournament has tried to play catchup ever since. Another squall delayed play Saturday morning and frost pushed back tee times for three straight days, including more than an hour on Sunday.

The final round was already underway as the leaders were finishing third rounds in this marathon kegger of a golf tournament that teetered toward out of control on Saturday. The rancor started to get under the skin of several players, leading to heated interactions with fans by Zach Johnson and Tom Hoge.

Scheffler started the morning five shots back at 8 under and quickly shot up the leaderboard in the resumption of his third round, reeling off five straight birdies starting at No. 9 to pull into a three-way tie at 13 under.

The putting gaffe on No. 18 left the world No. 1 with an extra shot to make up in the final round.

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