The wild 2024 WM Phoenix Open ended before Super Bowl 58 began, but it’s still incredible that the People’s Open ended on Sunday given how many hours were lost due to rain and frost delays this week. In order to avoid the first Monday finish at TPC Scottsdale since 2011, when freezing ground forced the first round to Friday, the leaders’ third rounds continued into Sunday. They played as many as thirty holes to complete the tournament.
In perfect conditions on Sunday afternoon, many golfers saw their scores drop, including Scottie Scheffler, who had won the Open the previous two years and was attempting to become the first champion of the Phoenix Open to win the tournament three times since Arnold Palmer in 1961–1963. Here’s what happened in north Scottsdale on Sunday.
Nick Taylor captures WM Phoenix Open in playoff
On Sunday, Nick Taylor defeated Charley Hoffman to win the 2024 WM Phoenix Open with an 11-foot putt on the second playoff hole. It marks Taylor’s first victory on the PGA Tour since he won the 2023 Canadian Open in a playoff, making history as the first Canadian to win the national championship in that nation since 1954.
Hoffman finished his fourth round at 21-under par, three shots ahead of the last group of players. However, all he could do was watch as Taylor progressively closed the gap on him with three late birdies, including the final hole in regulation.
On the 18th hole in the Phoenix Open playoff, Taylor made a 14-foot birdie par the first time around, which Hoffman matched from 7 feet. On their second playoff drive, both golfers missed the fairway; but, Taylor’s approach, which was 17 feet closer than Hoffman’s, gave him the advantage.
Nick Taylor catches Charley Hoffman, forces playoff
Charley Hoffman’s runaway didn’t quite work out. He shot a 7-under 64 in Round 4 to get to 21-under, but he was unable to stop the relentless Nick Taylor, who shot bogey-free in the final round, birdieing 15, 16, and, most famously, curling in a 9-footer on 18 to force a playoff—the 12th in Phoenix Open history since the tournament moved to TPC Scottsdale in 1987.
Past playoffs featuring sudden death: 2022: Scottie Scheffler defeated Patrick Cantlay in three holes2020: Tony Finau loses to Webb Simpson by one holeGary Woodland defeated Chez Reavie in 2018 by one hole2017: Webb Simpson lost to Hideki Matsuyama after four holes.Hideki Matsuyama defeated Rickie Fowler in 2016. four holes2011: Jason Dufner lost to Mark Wilson by two holes.2009: Charlie Hoffman vs. Kenny Perry, 3 holes2008: Phil Mickelson loses to J.B. Holmes by one hole1996: Justin Leonard lost to Phil Mickelson by three holes.Billy Mayfair lost to Vijay Singh in 1995, 1 hole.1988: Fred Couples lost to Sandy Lyle in three holes.
Charley Hoffman beginning to pull away at WM Phoenix Open
Charley Hoffman, who shot eagle-birdie-birdie on holes 13–15, is just two holes away from his first PGA Tour victory since 2016, and a packed Sunday leaderboard is beginning to seem more like a runaway. Three strokes ahead of Nick Taylor, he is playing at No. 17 and is 21-under.
Hoffman, a San Diego native, is competing in the WM Phoenix Open for the 18th time in a row and is attempting to capture the elusive victory at TPC Scottsdale. In what was then known as the FBR Open, he was defeated by Kenny Perry in a playoff fifteen years ago. Hoffman, who turned 47 in December, ironically lost that playoff match against Perry, who was 48 at the time and the oldest winner in the history of the competition.
Scheffler pulls into three-way tie atop leaderboard
Scottie Scheffler recovered from his bogey on the seventh hole, where he missed a birdie opportunity into a greenside bunker, by making a 12-footer for birdie. Now vying for a third straight WM Phoenix Open title, he is in a three-way tie for the lead.
Charley Hoffman, Nick Taylor, and Scheffler are all at 17-under par. Sam Burns and Kurt Kitayama are lingering at 14 under, with Sahith Theegala following closely at 15 under. As the leaders approach the last stretch of the competition, they are approaching the conclusion of the front nine.
Third round, finally, is over; leaders on to Round 4
The WM Phoenix Open’s third round came to an official close at 12:03 p.m. when Nick Taylor made his last putt on No. 18.
After 54 holes, he and Sahith Theegala were tied at 15 under 198 for the event thanks to that putt.
The leaders will head out for their final rounds after having had roughly 15-20 minutes to regroup and grab something to eat. For the golfers further down the field, of course, Round 4 has already begun. The play began at precisely 10:15 a.m. The golfers will continue to play in the same threesomes they did in Round 3 of this most unique of Phoenix Opens, according to another peculiar development. Since the 2022 Barbasol Championship, it has never occurred while on tour before.
The field did, however, have time when play concluded on the individual courses to cut new holes and reposition tee boxes.
Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel yell at unruly fans
The WM Phoenix Open calls itself “The People’s Open,” but the PGA Tour’s yearly stop in Phoenix may not be for everyone, especially the traditional pros, due to its noisy crowds and distinct atmosphere. These spectators are frequently overserved, particularly at the par-3 16th party hole.
Zach Johnson might be added to the list in the future. The 12-time Tour winner has participated in 14 Phoenix Opens, starting in 2005 when the event was known as the FBR Open. In twelve of those starts, he was able to make the cut and achieved six top-25 and one top-10 finish. Put differently, Johnson is no stranger to the scene at TPC Scottsdale.
During the third round of the 2024 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday, the 47-year-old lost it with spectators, and the altercation was captured on camera.
“Somebody said it, I’m just sick of it. Just shut up,” Johnson told the group of spectators before the par-5 15th hole tee box was guarded by security.
The Tour hopes for an enjoyable WM Phoenix Open, but that enjoyment may come at a disruptive cost. It’s unclear what sparked the exchange, but perhaps Johnson had good reason to order the fan to shut up. On the other hand, the People’s Open might not be for you if you are not able to put up with hecklers.
Billy Horschel can be added to the list as well. Justifiably, the seven-time champion lost it on a spectator while they were conversing in the grandstand during a player’s swing. Sensitive ears might not want to watch this video.
The golfers may be in for a lengthy Sunday at TPC Scottsdale as the third and final rounds are still to be completed.
Don’t look now, but here comes Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler, the two-time defending Phoenix Open champion, has quietly gone about his business despite all of the rain, muck, and frost that have plagued this tournament. Additionally, Scheffler fired on Sunday morning, and at one point in Round 3 he was tied for second at 13-under before handing back a stroke on No. 14, even as fan favourite Sahith Theegala shot up to the top of the scoreboard at 14-under.
Prior to that bogey, Scheffler had made five straight birdies on holes 9–13, including a 17-foot putt on the 12th hole.
Play underway after several frost delays
The third round of the WM Phoenix Open was postponed multiple times due to frost, but it finally resumed at 8:46 a.m.
The overnight leader, Nick Taylor, struggled to get going, three-putting the seventh green for bogey and dropping to 12-under. Right now, he and Sahith Theegala are tied.
Sunday morning opens with frost delay
The expected start of play at TPC Scottsdale, which was slated to occur at a hopeful 7:30 a.m., has been postponed multiple times. The earliest estimate for the start of play is 8:45 a.m.
When play continues, Nick Taylor leads the field after six holes of his third round at 13 under par, followed by Sahith Theegala, who is one shot behind. Fifteen golfers are concealed five shots behind them.