Golf

Canada's Hadwin tied for 2nd at WM Phoenix Open as darkness suspends play again

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler took the lead into the weekend in the WM Phoenix Open, with local favorite Jon Rahm right behind at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.

Defending champion Scheffler takes 2-stroke lead into weekend at TPC Scottsdale

A male golfer wearing a hat and sunglasses follows through on his swing.
Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., plays his shot from the fifth tee during the second round of the WM Phoenix Open on Friday at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler took the lead into the weekend in the WM Phoenix Open, with local favourite Jon Rahm right behind at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.

The second-ranked Scheffler played 25 holes Friday, completing a 3-under 68 in the first round and shooting a bogey-free 64 in the second to get to 10 under. He had a two-stroke lead over Rahm and Canada's Adam Hadwin when play was suspended because of darkness.

Rahm, the former Arizona State star ranked No. 3, also returned early to finish the first round. He shot 68-66 to possibly set up a Super Bowl weekend showdown with Scheffler for the No. 1 ranking.

"That would be a lot of fun," Scheffler said. "It looks like right now we're 1 and 2, but we'll see how things shake out. A lot of guys still have a lot of golf out there to play. Should be a fun weekend."

Hadwin, a 35-year-old from Abbotsford, B.C., had eight holes left when play was suspended. None of the afternoon starters were able to finish the round.

Fellow Abbotsford, B.C., native Nick Taylor fell into a five-way tie for sixth to be four shots back of the lead with six holes to go. Taylor was tied with Hadwin atop the leaderboard after Thursday's opening round.

WATCH | Hadwin top Canadian at WM Phoenix Open on Day 2:

Hadwin top Canadian at WM Phoenix Open on day 2

1 year ago
Duration 0:54
Abbotsford, B.C. native Adam Hadwin is the top Canadian tied for second at 8-under thru 10 holes, when play was suspended Friday due to darkness in Scottsdale, Arizona at the WM Phoenix Open.

Last year, Scheffler beat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff for his first PGA Tour title. Scheffler added victories in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Match Play and Masters and was the PGA Tour's player of the year.

The Texan has hit 20 of 28 fairways and 27 of 36 greens in regulation.

"Around this place when you're hitting fairways and you're hitting it well the golf course can kind of open up for you," Scheffler said. "But the opposite can happen in a hurry because there's trouble lurking on basically every hole."

After a frost delay and gusting wind Thursday, the players faced a lighter breeze that shifted frequently.

"The wind was really moving around," Scheffler said. "It could be difficult to judge at times. But it was nice and warm, so it was good."

Rahm opened the year with consecutive victories in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express. He had his best finish at TPC Scottsdale in 2015, when he tied for fifth as an amateur.

Rahm played a four-hole stretch in 4 under on his first nine in the second round. He birdied the par-5 13th, holed out of a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-5 15th and made a 7-footer for birdie on the par-3 16th.

"I hit a lot of great tee shots today," Rahm said. "A lot of good iron shots that ... didn't end up in great spots."

His mother and 87-year-old grandmother, visiting from Spain, watched him on No. 16.

"Unexpected. Very unexpected," Rahm said. "I'm glad I didn't know until I hit the shot, honestly, because otherwise I think I would have tried too hard for my grandma to hit a good shot."

While Scheffler and Rahm topped the leaderboard, top-ranked Rory McIlroy had to rally after an opening 73 in the toughest conditions Thursday. He had four birdies in a five-hole stretch and was 3 under overall when play was suspended.

McIlroy is trying to make it three wins in a row on the PGA Tour after taking the Tour Championship in August and The CJ Cup in October. He also won two weeks ago in Dubai on the European tour in his first start of the year.

Wyndham Clark was 7 under after rounds of 68 and 67. Sungjae Im also was 7 under with six holes left.

Jason Day was 6 under, finishing off a 65 to take the first-round lead and adding a 71.

"I'm glad I'm in the house," Day said. "I'm just going to go rest up."

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