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Andrew Novak shares WM Phoenix Open lead with Nick Taylor after Round 2 suspended for darkness

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    Written by Associated Press

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Nick Taylor matched the course record with an 11-under 60 to finish his first round Friday and shot 70 in the second to match Andrew Novak for the WM Phoenix Open lead at 12 under.

    With weather delays pushing the first round into Friday, Taylor returned to complete a record round shared with four others at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. That gave him a five-shot lead, matching Jim Gallagher Jr. at the 1993 TOUR Championship for the largest 18-hole lead in a PGA TOUR stroke-play event since 1983.

    Taylor got his second round off to a shaky start before two birdies on the back nine moved him back into a tie for the lead with more than half the field still needing to finish Saturday.

    Novak closed out a 65 in the morning and shot 4-under 31 on the front nine for another 65 in the second round. Maverick McNealy shot 67 to reach 10 under and Doug Ghim was 9 under through 16 holes of his second round.

    Scottie Scheffler was 8 under after a second-round 66 that gives him a shot at becoming the first PGA TOUR player to three-peat at the same tournament for the first time in 13 years. Justin Thomas also was tied with two others at 8 under after a 65.


    Nick Taylor's interview after Round 2 of WM Phoenix Open


    A long weather delay left half the field needing to finish their first rounds and a 90-minute frost delay pushed tee times back even more.

    The setbacks left most of the field stuck in the middle of their second rounds, with more rain in the forecast on Saturday.

    Taylor has three career PGA TOUR wins, none more memorable than the 2023 Canadian Open. The 35-year-old sank a 72-foot eagle putt to beat Tommy Fleetwood in the fourth playoff hole, becoming the first Canadian to win his national open in 69 years.

    Following his record round, Taylor had a 40-minute turnaround before his next tee time and bogeyed the par-4 first hole. He got it back with a birdie on No. 10, but missed a nine-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th.

    Taylor two-putted for birdie from 40 feet on the 321-yard 17th hole and saved par on No. 18 after having to lay up from a fairway bunker.

    Novak missed the cut his first three tournaments of 2024, but finished off a first-round 65 Friday morning and was in the first group on No. 1 for the second round. He had four birdies to shoot 4-under 31 on the front nine, added another on No. 13, and took the lead at 12 under with a two-putt birdie after driving the green at No. 17.

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