After Canadian Nick Taylor delivered a brilliant first-round 60, Andrew Novak shot a second-round 65 and the two finished Friday tied for the lead at the weather-affected WM Phoenix Open Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Taylor, whose 11-under opening round tied the course mark at TPC Scottsdale, began his second round just 40 minutes after completing Round 1 and shot a 1-under 70. He and Novak are at 12-under 130, two shots clear of the field.
More than half the field did not complete their second round when play was suspended due to darkness. The second round will resume Saturday morning.
Taylor was realistic after his pedestrian second round following the dynamic 60.
“Yeah, it’s weird feeling disappointed after a 70, but this morning was pretty hard to follow up,” he said. “Didn’t hit it great off the tee this afternoon, so I was grinding a little bit early on, but held it together, made some kind of key up-and-downs early on and it was nice to finish the round under par.
“But this morning was obviously pretty special to make all those putts and shoot 60.”
The last player to card a 60 at the Phoenix Open was Phil Mickelson in 2013.
Novak was pleased to have completed 1 1/2 rounds in one day but was feeling the effects.
“I’m pretty tired right now — 27 (holes) was a lot, especially in the mud,” he said. “It’s pretty sloppy walking around out there.”
The unique atmosphere created by the large crowds served to boost Novak.
“You’ve just got to embrace the fans,” he said. “You can’t really fight it. They’re out there. They’re going to be there. You play to them, and you let them give you the energy to keep you going.”
Among others to finish their second rounds, Maverick McNealy shot a 4-under 67 on the heels of his first-round 65 to finish alone in third at 10 under.
Doug Ghim did not complete his round but birdied the signature 16th hole just before sunset to move into fourth at 9 under. His celebration fueled the raucous crowd so much that cups and other projectiles littered the green.
Two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler shot 66 to finish tied with Cameron Young (67) and Justin Thomas (65) at 8 under.
Scheffler seemed to find his comfort level late on Friday.
“I feel good,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing a little bit better than my score, but I hit a lot of quality shots and a lot of good putts this afternoon. Yeah, looking forward to the next couple days.”
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox was also at 8 under through 15 holes when play was halted just after 6 p.m. local time.
Because of Thursday’s weather delay, first-day leader Sahith Theegala (6 under) was among those not able to tee off Friday.
–Field Level Media