Inclement weather continues to plague the PGA Tour in recent weeks, with wind and thunderstorms trailing its path through the desert. Following the cancellation of the final round at Pebble Beach, the WM Phoenix Open also kicks off with the brakes applied.
The first day is marked by a lengthy interruption due to heavy rain in Arizona, rendering the course unplayable before play resumed and eventually halted again due to darkness, with many matches yet to reach the eighteenth hole.
Leading the pack is American Sahith Theegala, one of the few to complete the round, seizing the top spot with his impressive -6 (65 strokes).
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The prolonged rain delay (approximately three and a half hours with play suspended) certainly didn't faze Theegala, who returned to the course and immediately notched a birdie.
The American displayed solid performance from tee to green, tallying seven birdies and just one bogey, instilling confidence as he heads into the second round. His closest pursuer is compatriot Andrew Novak, who stormed out of the gates and sits at -5 after just nine holes before darkness halted play.
Only three pars on the scorecard for the 1995-born North Carolinian, who then recorded four birdies, a bogey, and an eagle on the par 5 thirteenth hole (his fourth hole, starting from the 10th). At the historic par 71 TPC Scottsdale course in Arizona, tied for third place are a pair of players who completed the first round.
Korean S.H. Kim and Irishman Shane Lowry stand at -4, in a leaderboard that remains tightly packed. Many prominent names grace the upper echelons of the leaderboard, with a strong showing from Jordan Spieth, among others, tied for fifth place at -3.
Spieth is the only one to have completed his eighteen holes, while Canadian Nick Taylor (through 6) and American Cameron Young (through 5) are just starting their first rounds. Rounding out the top 10 in eighth place, at -2 after the first day, is a group of ten golfers who completed the entire Coliseum.
Among them, Martin Laird, Kevin Yu, Joel Dahmen, Alex Noren, Davis Thompson, Aaron Baddeley, and Matt Fitzpatrick. The most anticipated player of the week, Scottie Scheffler, has only completed a third of his first round, currently sitting at 18th place at -1 after six holes.
The world number one in the Official World Golf Rankings is chasing a historic three-peat in Phoenix, a feat achieved only by Arnold Palmer in the distant 1960s.