The third round finally ends. Thegala and Taylor are in the foreground
Will the 2024 WM Phoenix Open end on Sunday? Will it be over before Super Bowl 58 kicks off? With many hours lost this week due to delayed rain and frost, the third round for the leaders extended to Sunday. If all goes well, they could look to play as many as 30 holes to finish the tournament and prevent everyone from returning to TPC Scottsdale on the first Monday since 2011, when frozen ground pushed the first round to Friday. One thing to keep in mind is that Scottie Scheffler, who has won the Open the past two years, has remained in contention fairly quietly this week and is still within striking distance of the first Phoenix Open three-peat since Arnold Palmer from 1961 to 1963. Below is A look at Sunday’s activities in North Scottsdale.
The third round is finally over. Leaders advance to the fourth round
When Nick Taylor hit his final shot on No. 18 at 12:03 p.m., it officially ended the third round of the WM Phoenix Open.
That putt left him tied after 54 holes with Sahith Thejala, both at 15-under 198 in the tournament.
The top finishers will have 15 to 20 minutes to eat and regroup before heading off to their final rounds. Of course, the fourth round is already underway for the lower golfers on the field. That play actually began at 10:15 a.m., and in another unusual occurrence in the even more unusual Phoenix Open, golfers will remain in the same three-way groups they played in the third round.
However, tournament officials had time to cut new holes and adjust tee box locations as the field finished playing on the various holes.
Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel yell at unruly fans
The WM Phoenix Open describes itself as “The People’s Open,” but with its rowdy crowds — who are often overlooked, especially on the par-3 16th hole — and different atmosphere, the PGA Tour’s annual stop in Phoenix may not be for everyone, especially… Old school pros.
Zach Johnson could be a new name on that list. The 12-time tour winner has made 14 appearances in the Phoenix Open dating back to 2005 when it was the FBR Open. He made the cut in 12 of those starts and had six top 25 finishes and a top 10. In other words, Johnson is no stranger to the scene at TPC Scottsdale, which makes the video below even more intriguing.
The 47-year-old exploded at fans during the third round of the 2024 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday, and the confrontation was captured on camera.
“Someone said it, ‘I’m tired of it.’ ‘Just shut up,'” Johnson told a group of fans before security intervened in the tee box on the 15th hole.
The Tour wants the WM Phoenix Open to be fun, but all that fun can come at a devastating cost. It is unclear what led to this reaction, and Johnson may have been justified in asking the fan to lower the pipe. But if you can’t handle the hecklers, the People’s Open may not be for you anymore.
You can also add Billy Horschel to the list. The seven-time award winner exploded at a fan, justifiably so, after someone on the show was talking while the player was swinging. This video may not be safe for sensitive ears.
With the third round and final round still to be completed, players can have a long Sunday at TPC Scottsdale.
—Adam Woodard, Gulfwick
Don’t look now, but here comes Scotty Scheffler
Amidst all the rain, mud and sleet that marred this tournament, two-time defending Phoenix Open champion Scottie Scheffler quietly continued his work. Even as fan favorite Sahith Thegalla surged to the top of the leaderboard at 14, Schaeffler caught fire on Sunday morning, and at one point in the third round was tied for second at 13 before falling back to no. .14.
Before that bogey, Scheffler had shot five straight birdies on holes 9-13, and dropped a 17-foot putt on No. 12.
Play is underway after several delays due to frost
The third round of the WM Phoenix Open resumed at 8:46 a.m. after the expected start time was postponed several times due to frost.
Nick Taylor, the overnight leader, didn’t get off to a strong start, three-putting the seventh green for bogey, and falling to 12 under. He is now linked to Sahith Theegala.
Opens Sunday morning with a frost delay
As expected, the resumption of play at TPC Scottsdale, which was supposed to take place at 7:30 a.m., was postponed several times. The latest prediction for when play will start is 8:45 a.m
The leaderboard when play resumes shows Nick Taylor in the lead at 13 under par through six holes in his third round, followed by Sahith Thejala by one shot, also through six holes. Behind them, there are 15 golfers within five strokes of Taylor’s speed.