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Nick Taylor wins WM Phoenix Open with birdie on 2nd hole of playoff

Feb 11, 2024, 6:39 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

Nick Taylor, of Canada, hits out of a fairway bunker on the second hole during the final round of t...

Nick Taylor, of Canada, hits out of a fairway bunker on the second hole during the final round of the Phoenix Open golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Taylor made an 11-foot birdie putt to beat Charley Hoffman on the second hole of a playoff after birdieing three of the last four in regulation Sunday, capping another wild week at the Phoenix Open with his second memorable victory.

Taylor closed with a 6-under 65 to reach 21-under 263, with the Canadian forcing the playoff with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

Both players birdied the extra hole and hit the green on No. 18 a second time — Taylor from the right rough, Hoffman from the left fairway bunker. Hoffman left his birdie putt short and Taylor birdied the hole for the third time in less than an hour as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Taylor won his fifth PGA Tour title to end a chaotic week of weather delays and the rare decision to close the gates — and, gulp, cut off liquor sales — when things started to get out of hand Saturday.

Taking advantage of the first pleasant day of the week in the desert, Hoffman moved into contention by finishing off a 64 on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium in the morning to complete his weather-delayed third round.

Hoffman was 4 under in a three-hole stretch on the back nine and had a three-shot lead when he finished.

Taylor wouldn’t let him grab the trophy just yet.

The 35-year-old had an emotional finish at the 2023 Canadian Open, making a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole to become the first Canadian in 69 years to win his national open.

Taylor shot a course-record 60 in the opening round in the desert for a five-shot lead that matched the largest after 18 holes on the PGA Tour since 1983.

Taylor finished off a third-round 68 in the morning, but stagnated after a birdie at No. 9. He came to life with consecutive birdies starting on No. 15 and finished with a flourish after just missing a birdie putt on No. 17.

Two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler surged into contention with five straight birdies to complete his third round, shooting 66 in the morning despite putting off the green into a bunker for a bogey on No. 18.

The world No. 1 briefly held the lead early in the final round before his putter went cold, ending his bid for the PGA Tour’s first three-peat in 13 years. Scheffler nearly aced the par-3 stadium 16th hole, but was too far behind to catch Hoffman. He shot 66 to tie Sam Burns for third at 18 under.

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