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Theegala closes 2nd round with 5 birdies on back 9, takes 1-shot lead at Phoenix Open

Orlando Ramirez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Sahith Theegala used five birdies on the back nine at TPC Scottsdale to shoot a 7-under 64 on Saturday and take a one-shot lead into the third round of the waterlogged Phoenix Open.

Nick Taylor and Andrew Novak are tied for second. Taylor tied the course record with an 11-under 60 in the first round and shot 70 in the second. Novak shot 65 in each round.

It’s been a soggy tournament so far in the desert — though the weather is expected improve for the final two rounds. A long weather delay on Thursday left half the field needing to finish their first rounds on Friday and a 90-minute frost delay on 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 third round will begin later Saturday.

Maverick McNealy is three shots back at 10 under after shooting 67. Doug Ghin is at 9 under.

Scottie Scheffler — eyeing his third straight Phoenix Open win — shot 66 and is four shots back at 8 under. He's trying for the first three-peat on the PGA Tour in 13 years.

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are also among five players at 8 under.

Theegala shot up the leaderboard on the back nine, with birdies on Nos. 11, 13, 14, 15 and 17. The 26-year-old — a three-time All-American at Pepperdine — earned his first PGA Tour win last year at the Fortinet Championship.

“Today, after the first few holes, we finally got scoreable conditions,” Theegala said. “No wind, soft greens, which is rare out here.”


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