SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Scottie Scheffler held onto his lead at the WM Phoenix Open on Saturday in an attempt to successfully defend his title and regain the world No. 1 ranking.
Second-place Scheffler shot a 3-under 68 in front of about 200,000 fans at TPC Scottsdale to move to 13 under, two shots ahead of third-place Jon Rahm and Nick Taylor.
Rahm also had a 68, curling 40 feet for birdie on the par 16 for his third birdie in four holes. Taylor shot a 67.
Scheffler would take over the top spot from Rory McIlroy — tied for 28th with a 3-under 70 — as long as McIlroy finishes no worse than solo third. Scheffler could also reach No. 1 by finishing solo second if McIlroy finishes 36th or worse and Rahm doesn’t win.
Rahm, a former Arizona State star from Spain, would go to No. 1 with a win if McIlroy finishes worse than a three-way tie for second, or if he finishes solo second if McIlroy finishes worse than a solo 47 and Scheffler doesn’t win.
Jordan Spieth and Adam Hadwin were 10 under.
Speith had the best score in the delayed second round, finishing with a 63 in the morning. He added a third-round 69, highlighted by a 77-yard bunker shot to 3 feet to set up a birdie on the par-4 17th.
Hadwin had a 71, playing in the last group with Scheffler and Rahm. He hit to 1 1/2 feet for birdie on the 16th, the closest of the round on the par-3 hole on the final tee shot of the day.
In the morning, Hadwin – on the 11th green Friday when second-round play was halted due to darkness – finished with his second straight 66 for a share of the lead with Scheffler at 10 under.
Last year, Scheffler defeated Patrick Cantlay in a playoff for his first PGA Tour title. Scheffler added wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Match Play and Masters tournaments and was the PGA Tour Player of the Year.
The 26-year-old Texan followed a bogey on the par-5 13th — his first bogey since his fourth hole Thursday — with a birdie on the par-4 14th, hitting a 210-yard shot to 4 feet. He also birdied the 17h.
Rahm opened the year with back-to-back wins at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express.
Rickie Fowler, the 2019 winner, had a 67 to join Tyrrell Hatton (67), Sungjae Im (67), Jason Day (68) and Xander Schauffele (70) at 9 under. Schauffele fired no. 15 and 16.
AP Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports