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Nick Taylor Defeats Charley Hoffman In Dramatic WM Phoenix Open Playoff

Nick Taylor triumphed at the WM Phoenix Open after a brilliant finale that included five birdies in his final six holes

Nick Taylor holds the WM Phoenix Open in the air

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Nick Taylor clinched his fourth PGA Tour title in dramatic fashion as he overhauled Charley Hoffman to win the WM Phoenix Open at the second playoff hole.

Taylor birdied three of the last four holes in regulation, including the 18th, to match Hoffman in the clubhouse on -21. The Canadian then birdied the 18th in both the playoff holes to finally shake off veteran Hoffman, who earlier shot -7 on a hectic final day which included completing a weather delayed third round.

Taylor, who celebrated with his wife and children, said: "To birdie it three times is pretty amazing. I was seeing the lines great all week. It was a marathon day. I signed my scorecard after the third round and only had a few minutes before we were back out again."

Hoffman rued: "I wanted to get in at -22 and I left the door open and Nick came in." Taylor's impressive form ensured he also saw off World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, who finished three shots back after his putter went cold in the fourth round with several short misses.

WM PHOENIX OPEN LEADERBOARD

  • -21 TAYLOR, HOFFMAN
  • -18 SCHEFFLER, BURNS
  • -17 THEEGALA

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BURNS GETS HIS FINAL ROUND UNDERWAY

The leaders like Scottie Scheffler are just finishing up their third rounds after the weather delay and are going to turn around quickly and go out in the same groups. That means the likes of Sam Burns , who is -11,  will look for fast starts as they get their fourth round underway after finding the fairway off the first. 

TURNAROUND UNDERWAY AS HOLES ARE CHANGED 

Greenkeepers change the pin positions for the final round

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SCHEFFLER FINISHES FOURTH ROUND AS EYES THIRD TITLE

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Scottie Scheffler has given the huge 100,000-strong gallery plenty of excitement at the end of his third round. He notched birdies on the 16th and 17th and then made a bogey at the last - after putting into a bunker from off the green. He signs for a 66 to stand on -13 before starting his fourth round.

THIRD ROUND CONCLUDES WITH NICK TAYLOR AND SAHITH THEEGALA LEADING

Nick Taylor in action at the WM Phoenix Open

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Canadian Nick Taylor,35, has just putted out on the 18th to finish his third round with Theegala, who are both-15. 

FAST START IN FINAL ROUND FOR BURNS AND YOUNG

Sam Burns is on fire and living up to his surname in the fourth round after opening up with successive birdies in his first two holes to get to -13. Cameron Young has also birdied the first in his final round.

PREMIUM ON ACCURACY OFF THE TEE AS IS PREFERRED LIES

Our leaders are underway in the final round with Theegala on the short stuff from the tee after using an iron which puts him in the best position as it is preferred lies. Taylor, who is also -15, missed the fairway on the right with his three-wood. They have been joined at -15 by Charley Hoffman who made a birdie three on the second.

THEEGALA AND TAYLOR MAKE PARS ON FIRST

Theegala and Taylor both left themselves a lot to do to make birdie on the first and had to settle for pars at the first from across the green with Theegala chipping up from the fringe and Taylor putting up close. 

SCHEFFLER GETS A SHOT BACK AFTER CRAZY FINISH TO THIRD ROUND

Scheffler astonishingly putted into a bunker on the 18th as he bogeyed the last to sign for a five at the end of his third round earlier. But he has got that shot back on the second in his final round with a birdie after sticking his approach to the par four from 126 yards to six-foot.

SCARE FOR HOFFMAN AT THIRD 

Charley Hoffman at the WM Phoenix Open

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Hoffman put his second at the third from 235 yards into the hazard but he had a chance to play it out of the giant sand trap and found the putting surface in regulation before his birdie attempt slid by and he settles for a par to keep his run going of finding every green in regulation so far. 

SLOW START FOR THEEGALA AND TAYLOR COULD LET IN PACK

Theegala and Taylor are both even after two holes to remain -15. They will look to pick up a shot at the par 5 third because otherwise the pack will soon be breathing down their necks with the course playing soft with preferred lies. Defending champion Scheffler for example is already on the fifth in two shots.

DRAMA AT THIRD WITH BIG SPREAD OF TEE SHOTS

The last trio have sprayed their tee shots nearly 100 yards apart at the par 5 third. Taylor has missed on the right side and Andrew Novak on the left with only Theegala finding the fairway as he finds the green in two. Taylor could drop a shot here while Scheffler up ahead has made birdie to join them on -15.

BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPION SCHEFFLER MAKES THIRD BIRDIE IN A ROW

Scheffler's odds on a third successive win at the WM Phoenix Open are tumbling right now as his putter continues to deliver. He has just reeled off three straight birdies in his final round and is out in front on his own after sticking his tee shot at the 192-yard par three fourth to 11 feet.

SCHEFFLER HAS GOOD LOOK AT POTENTIAL FOURTH BIRDIE IN A ROW

Scheffler's ball-striking is on a rope today and he has just smashed his drive at the fifth to split the fairway at 330 yards before sticking his approach from 136 yards to seven feet to set up another birdie for his 11th in 15 holes including the completion of his third round earlier.

Scottie Scheffler in action in WM Phoenix Open

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HOFFMAN,47, STILL GOING STRONG ON MARATHON FINAL DAY

Hoffman is one of the oldest members in the field aged 47 but he has got to -16 and is -2 for six holes after carding 64 in his third round earlier before going straight out in his final round in his 19th season on tour.

SCHEFFLER ON SIXTH IN REGULATION

Scheffler has hit 20 out of his last 22 greens in regulation today and will have another look at birdie on the sixth after spinning a shot in close from the sand at 121 yards out. He missed his putt on the right side though to settle for a par.

HOFFMAN ROLLS IN BIRDIE PUTT FOR SHARE OF LEAD

Charley Hoffman is in his 19th season on tour and is in good form after overcoming injury. He is keeping pace with Scheffler at the top after following his third round 64 with -3 for six holes. 

RARE WOBBLE FROM SCHEFFLER TO HAND HOFFMAN THE LEAD

World No.1 Scheffler has looked imperious in round four but we have just seen his first mistakes. He missed a good birdie chance on the sixth and then the American failed to get up and down at the back of the par three seventh to drop a shot. 

Charley Hoffman leading the WM Phoenix Open

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NICK TAYLOR FINALLY COMING TO THE PARTY

Taylor endured a slow start to his final round as he sprayed the ball around and had to scramble some good par saves. But the Canadian is just one off the lead after his first birdie of his final round at the sixth. He has then fired in an impressive tee shot from 228 yards to 15 feet at the seventh too to tee up back to back birdies. 

SCHEFFLER REFUSES TO GIVE UP TITLE WITHOUT A FIGHT

Charley Hoffman and Nick Taylor were threatening to pull away from Scheffler amid a couple of unforced errors from the World No.1. But Scheffler has won this title for the past two years and has moved back level at the top with a birdie on the eighth after dropping a shot.

SCHEFFLER FLIES IN 146-YARD APPROACH CLOSE AT NINE

Scheffler has a good chance for a sixth birdie in nine holes in the final round after another impressive second shot. The American has had 21 top tens since Charley Hoffman last had one in 2022 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.  The World No.1 will be hot favourite if he can get his nose infront again but his putt leaks by on this occasion as Hoffman hits the front at -4 for ten holes today. 

Scottie Scheffler in the WM Phoenix Open final round

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HOFFMAN CHASING FIRST WIN IN EIGHT YEARS

Leader Charley Hoffman is on the 11th in regulation and is looking very solid which is impressive as he has not won on tour since the Texas Open in 2016. He has played very sensibly on the tricky 11th by finding the centre of the green in two and walking off with a stress-free par.

HOFFMAN MISSES PAR 3 12TH TO OPEN DOOR FOR TAYLOR

Hoffman has found the sand at the back of the par 3 12th which has statistically been the hardest hole to get up and down at this week. Taylor was very erratic on the front nine but is now however looking composed and in his rhythm and is now out in front on his own after Hoffman's bogey on 12.

TAYLOR INFRONT ON HIS OWN UNTIL SCHEFFLER STRIKES

Nick Taylor was the sole leader and he won't need reminding he needs to keep making birdies as a chasing pack assemble a shot behind him including Scottie Scheffler, who has been hitting his approaches so close his longest putt has been from 22 feet, excluding the par five third which he hit in two. His latest fine approach into 11 set up a birdie to give him a share of the lead.

HOFFMAN PUNCHES THE AIR AFTER DRAINING EAGLE

There has been plenty of movement at the top of the leaderboard and now Hoffman is back on top after a stunning eagle three on the par five 13th, which is 570-yards. After a 301-yard drive, Hoffman found the green with a 259-yard approach shot before holing out from 25 foot.

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BURNS ON A CHARGE AND COULD SET CLUBHOUSE TARGET

Sam Burns is -6 for 14 holes after five birdies and an eagle to get to -17. He is still two shots behind Hoffman but if he finishes well , Burns could set the clubhouse target with four holes left.

Sam Burns in the WM Phoenix Open

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HOFFMAN LOOKING GOOD AT THE TOP

Hoffman,47, is looking good to become the oldest winner on tour since Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island age 50 in 2021. His birdie at the 14th has given him a two-shot advantage over Scheffler who three-putted the 13th.

Charley Hoffman eyes the WM Phoenix Open title

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BOLD PLAY FROM HOFFMAN AT PAR FIVE 15TH

Leader Hoffman is going for the jugular here at the 15th after taking on the water with his second. He drove it 302 yards and then fired a fairway wood 240 yards to the front of the green and he two putts for a birdie to get to -7 for the day and -21 in total. Scheffler has had a chance to put him under pressure but has missed some short putts.

HOFFMAN FINDS 16TH GREEN AS CHASING PACK FALTER

Hoffman is closing in on the first prize of $1.584 million after a solid shot into the par 3 16th , which features the huge noisy grandstands, to tee up another par. If the veteran can continue to keep his poise and avoid any big mistakes, this title is his.

Charley Hoffman impresses in WM Phoenix Open final round

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HOFFMAN HAS TO WAIT ON 17TH TEE 

Hoffman continues to play aggressively despite a 12-minute wait on the 17th tee before pulling out his driver. He had his head in his hands afterwards after going right into a bunker 286 yards off the tee which leaves a treacherous 74-yard shot to the green surrounded by water. Hoffman finds the putting surface and two putts superbly to make par as Scheffler almost aces 16th behind him.

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HOFFMAN SMOKES HIS DRIVE UP 18

Hoffman leads by two shots after Taylor's birdie at the 15th and the leader has just smashed a drive 339-yards over the water at the 18th into 'Position A' leaving 86 yards to tee up a potential birdie. He might need a three too to see off Taylor's late charge after the Canadian fired his shot in close at the par 3 16th.

HOFFMAN POSTS -21 AND FACES TENSE WAIT WITH TAYLOR ON CHARGE

Hoffman has had a superb -7 round to get to -21 but he must now hope Taylor, who is -20, doesn't match him. Hoffman had a putt to get to -22 but left it short and could be seen castigating himself. He certainly could regret it if Taylor matches or betters his total with two holes left.

TAYLOR MUST BIRDIE THE LAST TO FORCE PLAY-OFF OTHERWISE HOFFMAN WINS

Hoffman is in the clubhouse on -21 and Taylor, who is -20, needs a birdie up the last to match him and force a play-off. Scheffler is out of it realistically on -18 after his putter went cold this afternoon , including missing several little ones.

TAYLOR FIRES IN A WEDGE AT THE LAST TO SET UP PLAY-OFF PUTT

Taylor has given himself a great chance of forcing a play-off with Hoffman after a wedge to 9.5 feet past the hole but it is a tricky downhill putt that few players have made today. He makes it though via the side door and we are going to a play-off!

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TAYLOR AND HOFFMAN ON 18TH GREEN IN PLAYOFF

Hoffman and Taylor headed back to the 18th tee to settle this tournament. Hoffman smashed another drive up the middle of the fairway while Taylor also found the fairway after initially backing away from his ball at address. Taylor plays first from 129 yards as he puts his approach to 14 feet but Hoffman puts his ball closer to seven feet. 

TAYLOR DRAINS 14-FOOT BIRDIE PUTT IN PLAY-OFF

Taylor is in the cup for a birdie at the 73rd hole after another gutsy, brilliant putt. Hoffman must now hole to keep the contest going and he follows the Canadian in.

HOFFMAN AND TAYLOR LEAK DRIVES AT SECOND PLAYOFF HOLE

The duo both birdied the first playoff hole in style to keep the contest alive but they will do well to both make birdie this time after Hoffman went left into the sand and Taylor went right into a bunker before bouncing out into the rough from where he played up to 11 feet while Hoffman found the green but is further away. Hoffman fails to make his leaving Taylor a putt for the title which he makes. 

THE WINNING MOMENT

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