Sunday at the 2024 edition of the WM Phoenix Open is scheduled to have the players at the top of the leaderboard play 30 holes before crowning a champion late into the afternoon and perhaps the evening. Nick Taylor holds the solo lead at 13-under, six holes into his third round of play, while Sahith Theegala sits one shot back.
“Yeah, I felt like I had a 12-hour day the first day, nothing yesterday, and then another 12-plus-hour day today,” Theegala said Saturday night after playing his first six holes at 1-over-par. “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.”
Stars like two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Wyndham Clark all remain in the hunt at TPC Scottsdale where they find themselves within five shots of the top of the leaderboard. For Spieth, Saturday was a marathon of a 25-hole day and is set for another with 27 holes still to go at “The People’s Open.”
“Honestly, they were awesome. It was really cool actually to see that many people on the front nine,” Spieth said after beginning his third round at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday and playing the front side at 2-under par. “Saturday is normally the big day, but I think with 27 holes tomorrow, we might see some more people come out than usual on Sunday anyway.”
The fans on the Stadium Course were as rowdy as ever on Saturday, with players having mixed opinions on the environment of the tournament.
I actually love it. U hear some dumb stuff but the roars are epic and the environment is very fun https://t.co/EOhSXqLzQa— max homa (@Maxhoma) February 11, 2024
Shitshows. Totally out of control on everyhole https://t.co/GnPZdqAyHB— Byeong Hun An (@ByeongHunAn) February 11, 2024
It remains to be seen how many spectators will be on the course in the late afternoon, with the Super Bowl kicking off at 4:30 p.m. local time. Justin Thomas said Friday that it would be a bummer if he had to miss the first quarter or two of the big game but would rather the tournament finish on Sunday.
“I'd much rather finish Sunday than Monday, so I will take missing the first quarter and a half or two quarters if that means we don't have to finish on Monday,” Thomas said. “I very much hope that I somehow can watch the Super Bowl, but I also hope I'm holding a trophy. If both of those can happen, that's what I choose.”
There has been no official word from the PGA Tour on if a Monday finish is being considered but seems possible considering the early-morning delay and number of holes that are left to see the tournament to its conclusion.