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Bad weather puts WM Phoenix Open on track to collide with Super Bowl

February 11, 2024
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Christian Petersen

The third round of the WM Phoenix Open began at 2:10 p.m. MT on Saturday, with the final group of leaders not going off until 4:10 pm. That says it all about what a nightmare the weather has been this week at TPC Scottsdale.

Water accumulation from overnight rain delayed play on Saturday morning, when the tournament was still trying to wrap up the second round after a series of weather stoppages. This, of course, follows Mother Nature wreaking havoc last week at Pebble Beach, where the final round of the second $20 million signature event of the season was lost and Wyndham Clark declared the 54-hole winner.

They likely will get in 72 holes in the Phoenix Open, but neither of the two potential outcomes will make anybody in the golf world happy. Either fans will have to zip back and forth between the tournament and the Super Bowl, or, in a distant long shot, play could be forced to Monday.

With PGA Tour officials sounded the horn to halt play due to darkness at 6:11 p.m. MT Saturday, the last group of Sahith Theegala, Nick Taylor and Andrew Novak were stranded on the seventh green, with all three choosing to mark their balls rather than finish. That means they have 30 holes to complete on Sunday, with Taylor holding the lead at 13 under, followed by Theegala at 12 under, and Novak and Doug Ghim (through 7) at 11 under.

Wiith players at varioius stages of their rounds, there were 18 golfers five shots or closer to the lead with a lot of golf to be played.

That brings us to Sunday. The players were set to return to the play in the third round at 7:30 a.m., but it was delayed 30 minutes because of frost, meaning the last group might finish the third round no earlier than noon MT and would probably be looking at a 5:30 p.m. or later conclusion to the final round. That bleeds the golf well into the first quarter of the Super Bowl and doesn’t account for the dreaded P-word: playoff.

So, you’re probably wondering: What does it look like for the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles next week? Not great. The forecast is for partly cloudy skies early in the week, evening rain on Thursday, cloudy conditions on Friday, and a better than 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Riviera Country Club already is extremely waterlogged, with Los Angeles receiving record rainfall totals over the last week.