Defending champion Scottie Scheffler is back on top of the leaderboard in Arizona.
The second-ranked Scheffler posted a bogey-free, seven-under-par 64 in round two to take a two-stroke lead over third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain and Adam Hadwin of Canada in the 86th WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz.
For the second straight day, the entire field did not finish before darkness came because of the two-hour first delay before round one, so those who were still on the course will return Saturday morning to complete round two before the 36-hole cut is made.
“I hit the ball well all day and gave myself a lot of good looks, but didn’t make much early before really getting going later in the round,” said Scheffler, whose victory in Phoenix last year was the first of his four during the season. “I drove the ball well all day, kept myself in good position and just played a solid round. I had good looks on virtually every hole.
“My game is trending in the right direction and I hope I’m getting close to the way I played all last season. I know I’m trending in the right direction and I just want to keep on going. It’s really a good feeling.”
Scheffler, the reigning Masters champion, started on the back nine and made a birdie on the 11th hole, but no more until he rattled off four in a row through the turn and added two more birdies down the stretch to record a 36-hole score of 10-under 132.
Rahm, who has won four of his last seven starts, also started on the back nine and stumbled with his only bogey at No. 11 before turning his round in the right direction by holing a 61-foot bunker shot for an eagle at the 15th hole and adding four birdies in a 66.
“Obviously, that eagle really go me going,” said Rahm, who won the Sentry TOC and The American Express to start the new year. “I hit a lot of good shots all the way through and it was a very good round of golf. And I hit a lot of really good shots around the greens to keep the round going.
“This is one of the best tournaments we play all season, outside of the majors, and the course is a lot of fun to play. It’s one of the few weeks in the regular season that you get the feel of a major championship. The field is very strong and for a regular-season event, this tournament is second to none.”
Hadwin, a first-round co-leader at 66, was a bogey-free three-under through 10 holes when the end came.
Wyndham Clark, who opened with 68, sank a 42-foot eagle putt on the third hole and had five birdies in a 67 and was three shots behind in a tie for fourth with Sungjae Im of South Korea (70), who made six birdies in his first six holes and was six-under for the round through 12 holes.
Sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, who opened with a 67, was two-under through 12 holes and four down in a tie for sixth with Jason Day of Australia, who followed a 65 with a 71; first-round co-leader Nick Taylor (66), who was one-under through 12; Sam Ryder (69), who was four-under through 13, and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela (71), who was six-under through 14 holes.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy (73) was five-under through 13 holes and in a tie for 18th that included ninth-ranked Justin Thomas, who followed a 71 with 68, while 10th-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick (70) was two-over through 12 and tied for 64th, seventh-ranked Collin Morikawa (73) of La Canada Flintridge and Cal was one-over through 13 in a tie for 87th, and fifth-ranked Patrick Cantlay (73) of Los Alamitos and UCLA was two-over through 12 and tied for 99th.
Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley and Stanford opened with a 76 and withdrew because of a left shoulder injury after going one-over through five holes in the second round.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard