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Leaders wait for second round to finish Saturday at WMPO

After a brief 21-minute suspension due to weather, second-round play at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open resumed before being suspended again on Saturday morning. Fifty-six players still have to finish their second round, while another 24 players have yet to tee off and could face a total of 36 holes on what is traditionally the most attended day of the tournament. 

Nick Taylor and Andrew Novak, who share the top spot on the leaderboard at 12-under-par, were both able to complete round two on Friday and may have a long wait before hitting golf shots again. Fan favorites like Jordan Spieth, Sahith Theegala, Rickie Fowler and Max Homa all have over 15 holes remaining in their second rounds before the cuts will be made and groups will be repaired for round three. While other players including Justin Thomas, who began the tournament in the afternoon wave on Thursday, were able to play 36 holes before the weekend. 

“It's been a bummer, this weather on the West Coast this year. It's obviously nothing we can do. But it takes some of the fire out of the courses,” Thomas said after firing a 6-under 65 in the second round. “Like this week, I clearly got pretty lucky with my tee time with the waves, but it is what it is.” 

The poor weather in Scottsdale comes the week after the Sunday play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was canceled and the event’s 54-hole results were made final. Thomas added that he planned to sleep a little longer than he usually would on a tournament Saturday and work on sharpening his wedges and irons after hitting 13/18 greens in the second round.

Maverick McNealy, who sits in solo third, said this year’s WM Phoenix Open has taken on the feel of a college golf tournament, where players often play 36 holes in one day. The 28-year-old who played at Stanford and once reached the top spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking echoed Thomas, saying he planned to sleep as much as possible on Saturday.

“Well, to be honest, it's about eight holes less than I've played a couple of times in college, so 28 holes is still a big haul, especially when you get that adrenaline shot twice on that back nine,” McNealy said after shooting rounds of 65 and 67. “It's a lot of fun. But the legs get a little tired, and I know from experience in college, that I just have to make sure I hold my posture a little more aggressively than is natural.” 

Despite the rain and cool temperatures, spectators in Scottsdale still lined up in masses before the gates opened at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning and made the race toward the 16th hole. Fans usually camp out at the stadium hole for hours before a golf shot is hit on Saturday. With players on the back nine when play was suspended because of darkness just after 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, it was a short wait before players came through to the loudest hole in golf. 

Third-round tee times are expected between 1:45-3:45 p.m. at TPC Scottsdale after the second round concludes in the early afternoon. Players will play in groups of three and begin off of split tees on holes 1 and 10. 

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