SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Is the WM Phoenix Open headed for the dreaded Monday finish?
Just writing those two words makes one cringe but Mother Nature has dealt the WM Phoenix Open a tough hand this week. It all began on Thursday when play was suspended due to unplayable conditions for 3 hours, 30 minutes. Remnants of the storm that led to the cancellation of the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – the first 54-hole event on the PGA Tour since the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans – headed to the Valley of the Sun and dumped enough rain to flood several greens.
Play was suspended on Thursday at 12:32 p.m. local time and resumed at 4:02 p.m., and the tournament has been playing catch up ever since. Play was suspended on Thursday due to darkness at 6:10 p.m., with the entire afternoon wave yet to complete their round.
Friday morning didn’t help when the resumption of the first round was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. but delayed due to frost until 9:13 a.m. (a delay of 1 hour, 43 minutes). The first round wasn’t completed until 1:50 p.m. The weather cooperated for the rest of Friday with the second round beginning at 12:25 p.m. Play was suspended for darkness at 6:08 p.m. with 18 players in the morning wave and the entire afternoon wave yet to complete their round. The second round is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Sahith Theegala, who held the lead when darkness fell on Thursday but trailed by five strokes by the end of the first round, never hit a shot on Friday. He’s got a 7:30 a.m. tee time on Saturday for his second round. The final group is scheduled to tee off at 8:14 a.m. Allowing for five hours in threesomes, it’s likely the third round will begin after the 36-hole cut and repairing with tee times roughly between 1:45-3:45 p.m. MT and sunset at 6:08 p.m. The third round leaders should be able to play at least nine holes on Saturday before they run out of daylight.
105 minute frost delay so far this morning at TPC Scottsdale and the WM. Going to be tough to finish Rd 3 by Sat night and w impending weather tomorrow and SB on Sunday wonder what will happen?? Go against Super Bowl, go to Monday or play 54 holes, two weeks in a row? Crazy!
— Brad Faxon (@BradFaxon) February 9, 2024
So, it could be a long Super Bowl Sunday on the PGA Tour. The third round should be completed in the morning and the final round will get going soon thereafter. Two possible hurdles still exist: overnight showers could delay the resumption of play on Saturday and with a low of 38 degrees on Sunday morning there could be another frost delay in the offing.
It all means that a champion could be crowned in Phoenix right before half time of the San Francisco 49ers-Kansas City Chiefs game. Then again, anything beats a Monday finish.