2021 Phoenix Open scores: Xander Schauffele leads as Steve Stricker remains in pursuit of history

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Steve Stricker is having an excessive amount of nice on the Waste Administration Phoenix Open to emphasize over a messy end Friday.

Making an attempt to develop to be the oldest winner in PGA Tour historic earlier, the 53-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain shot a 5-under 66 to get inside a stroke of chief Xander Schauffele coming into the weekend at TPC Scottsdale.

Stricker scrambled for par on the eighth, nonetheless could not overcome one totally different poor approach on No. 9 in a closing bogey.

“Merely hit an horrible iron into the inexperienced on No. 9,” Stricker talked about. “However regular a terrific day.”

Stricker, who shall be 54 on Feb. 23, acquired the last word of his 12 PGA Tour titles in 2012 at Kapalua. Sam Snead is the oldest winner at 52 years, 10 months, eight days contained in the 1965 Greater Greensboro occasion. Seven gamers have acquired of their 50s, the last word Davis Love III at 51 contained in the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

“I do know it is a extended shot,” Stricker talked about. “I’ve acquired to play my best, very like anyone else does out correct proper right here. However you understand, I have been there. I’ve acquired just a few conditions out on this tour and I do know what it takes, though it has been some time. It’s more likely to be nice to see how I deal with it if I do get that chance.”

The five-time PGA Tour Champions winner, with accomplice, Nicki, working as his caddie, birdied 4 of his first eight holes with hardly anybody watching contained in the chilly morning circumstances. The attendance is capped at about 5,000 a day, a fraction of the similar earlier turnout nonetheless primarily in all probability essentially the most for a tour occasion provided that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is frequently extremely efficient to get going spherical correct proper right here contained in the morning and we began on the as soon as extra 9 with some fairly good holes and a few water holes which can come up and get you,” Stricker talked about.

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The fourth-ranked Schauffele, coming off a second-place tie remaining week at Torrey Pines, carried out the as soon as extra 9 in 6-under 30 contained in the afternoon for a 64. He birdied Nos. 12-14, made a 21-footer for eagle on the par-5 15th, and hit a wedge to Four half of ft to rearrange a remaining birdie on the par-Four 18th.

“It was a bit sluggish at first,” Schauffele talked about. “Kind of noticed everybody’s title flying up the leaderboard.”

He was at 12-under 130.

Keegan Bradley was tied for second after a 65. He made 10 birdies in a 14-hole stretch from his 12th gap Thursday to the seventh Friday — all on the doorway 9.

“All it was was having some putts go in,” Bradley talked about.

Scottie Scheffler (65), Sam Burns (68) and Kyoung-Hoon Lee (66) had been 10 beneath. Scheffler hit to a foot for birdie contained in the morning on the 16th.

“There was actually no explicit individual there, so I could not inform if it had a chance or not,” Scheffler talked about.

He adopted with a 40-foot eagle putt on 17, nonetheless gave as soon as extra the strokes with a four-putt double bogey on the par-Four fifth.

Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka had been eight beneath.

Spieth is making an attempt regain the shape that carried him to 11 PGA Tour victories — three of them majors — in his first 5 seasons on the tour. Winless provided that 2017 British Open, he shot his second straight 67, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 third.

“It felt like a 6- or 7-under day, and that’s among the many many first conditions I’ve virtually been upset taking photographs Four beneath in a spherical in very very very long time, and which may be a pleasant signal,” he talked about. “(Yesterday) I shot Four beneath, nonetheless I acquired away with homicide.”

Third-ranked Justin Thomas was 7 beneath after a 65. He opened with a double bogey on the par-Four 10th after making a late triple bogey Thursday on 17.

“Hit an excellent tee shot down 10 and had a pitching wedge in and made about as straightforward and dangerous of a 6 as you possibly may,” Thomas talked about.

He had 5 birdies in a six-hole stretch from No. 14 to No. 1, bogeyed the par-5 third, after which birdied 4 of the last word 5.

“I stayed affected explicit individual and understood that you would be make a boatload of birdies,” he talked about.

DIVOTS: Jon Rahm, the sooner Arizona State star who tops the sector at No. 2 on the earth, had a 69 to understand 5 beneath. … Stricker carried out alongside European captain Padraig Harrington and Jerry Kelly, Stricker’s Madison, Wisconsin, neighbor and fellow PGA Tour Champions participant. Harrington and Kelly missed the lower. … Defending champion Webb Simpson was Four beneath, rebounding from a 73 to shoot 65.

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