Taylor takes one stroke lead into final day of Phoenix Open

Nick Taylor of Canada has a one stroke lead heading into the final day of play at the Phoenix Open. (Christian Petersen)
Nick Taylor of Canada has a one stroke lead heading into the final day of play at the Phoenix Open. (Christian Petersen)

Canadian Nick Taylor held a one stroke lead over American Sahith Theegala when darkness halted play in the third round of the PGA Tour's weather-disrupted Phoenix Open on Saturday.

The pair had completed six holes of the third round at TPC Scottsdale after getting through their second rounds earlier in the day.

Doug Ghim and Andrew Novak were both two shots off the lead while three-times major winner Jordan Spieth reached the turn at two-under for his round, moving him three behind Taylor.

The leaders will have 30 holes to get through on Sunday with organizers hoping the risk of frost in the morning does not add any further delays to the schedule.

A 3 1/2-hour rain delay on Thursday put the tournament behind schedule and frost on Friday added to the disruption.

Theegala had fired a seven under-par 64 to top the leaderboard after the second round but then returned to bogey the first two holes of his third round.

A birdie at the par-3 fourth, steadied him but Taylor took advantage to edge back in front, draining a 48 foot putt for birdie on the par-4 fifth.

Taylor had equalled the course record on Friday with his 11-under-par 60 and while he wasn't able to recapture that form in his second round, making bogey on the first hole, he recovered with birdies on the 10th and 17th to shoot 70.

The Canadian finished second in this event last year, missing out to Scottie Scheffler by two shots, before going on to win the Canadian Open in June.

"I feel like I just have good vibes here after last year. I played great last year and just got beat I felt like," he said.

"I wasn't probably expecting to shoot a 60 or something crazy low the first day, but I figure I have good energy here now, and a lot of years in a row I didn't.

"I wouldn't say it's unfinished business, but I'm definitely in good position to try to finish it off," he added.

Theegala was one of the few players to have finished his first round on Thursday and so did not play at all on Friday.

"I felt like I had a 12-hour day the first day, nothing yesterday, and then another 12-plus-hour day today. So ready for another 10-, 12-hour day tomorrow," he said.

"It's been a weird week, and I'm actually really exhausted right now. It's not often you play two days of -- not necessarily even a lot of holes but just a lot going on," he said.

- Fun atmosphere -

There was no shortage of energy around sold-out TPC Scottsdale, with the traditional raucous crowds at the "stadium" par-3 16th.

With the partying crowds roaring every great shot or putt but booing and jeering missed putts and off-target approaches, the noise at the hole has become synonymous with the Scottsdale event.

"Just hearing the cheers is pretty epic. A bunch of guys with my name and my face on shirts out there. The officer was telling me people got too drunk. But it was all in good fun, and hopefully everyone stayed safe," said Theegala.

"It's a blast. There's definitely some people that aren't the best drunks, but for the most part it's all positive, and it's a fun atmosphere.

"You do have to block some of it out at certain times. That's for sure. But still kind of in full embrace mode." he added.