SCOTTSDALE Ariz. — Morning frost gave place to gusting wind Thursday at the WM Phoenix Open. This resulted in difficult scoring conditions at TPC Scottsdale.
I felt the best swing of the day was actually the par-3 7th, and hit it 20 feet over the green, top-ranked Rory McIlroyHe said this after a 2-under 73 opening round that left him 7 strokes behind.
The start was delayed by the frost for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Winds picked up from the northeast, gusting to 25 mph, and the wind picked up from the northeast. The temperature rose from the low fortys in the morning up to the high 60s by the end of the afternoon, as the Valley of the Sun hosted the Super Bowl.
McIlroy stated, Tricky day. Hope the wind continues to blow this afternoon for the guys out on the field, and well get back to it tomorrow.
After turning at 1 over, Taylor played the back 9 in 6-under 30. Taylor, a two-time winner of the PGA Tour, resides in the area and practices at TPC Scottsdale.
Taylor stated, I don’t see a lot of northeast winds here. Its definitely the most difficult wind, especially when it comes down the stretch. Its taking a lot longer than normal to play all those holes. This was the most difficult stretch Ive ever played in wind conditions.
Hadwin also resides in the area.
Hadwin stated, You had to have a lot more patience than you normally do around here. You couldnt chase birdies as much here as we usually do.
He missed the cut on the last four holes and was not able to win bragging rights over Taylor.
Hadwin stated, Im really disappointed that I didnt get down to 6 under because Nick was up there and I wanted to hold it over Nick tonight.
Local favorite Jon RahmTo get to 3 under, he eagled on the par-5 13th. Play was then suspended. The Sentry Tournament of Champions, won by the American Express and won consecutively by the former Arizona State star, Spain.
Defending champion Scottie SchefflerThrough 11 holes, he was 1 under.
McIlroy is aiming to win three consecutive PGA Tour victories after he won the Tour Championship in August, and the CJ Cup October. He also won the European tours first start in Dubai two weeks ago.
McIlroy made an incredible recovery shot on the par-4 2nd hole. After a wild tee shot left McIlroy up against a metal fence. He hit a 127-yard shot to center of the green to set up two-putt par.
McIlroy stated that McIlroy was lucky to have the wind blow off my left. He needed to draw against the wind. It was all that was needed to stop it from reaching the green.