SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA (AP) – On the third hole of a playoff Sunday in the WM Phoenix Open, Scottie Scheffler outlasted Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Cantlay, sinking a 25-foot birdie putt that had just enough momentum to fall in.
After Scheffler sunk his putt, Cantlay missed an 11-foot birdie attempt.
On another sunny, 80-degree day at TPC Scottsdale, Scheffler birdied four of the final six holes for a 4-under 67 to tie Cantlay at 16-under 268. Cantlay, who was in the same group as Scheffler, had a bogey-free 67.
Scheffler made history in his 71st PGA Tour appearance. Prior to Sunday, the 25-year-old former University of Texas star’s professional achievements included defeating Jon Rahm in the US Ryder Cup triumph at Whistling Straits in September and shooting a 59 in the 2020 Northern Trust.
Scheffler and Cantlay both made par on the first two extra holes on 18, hitting the fairway and green the first time and scrambling to save par the second.
When Scheffler’s 5 1/2-foot birdie attempt drifted right, he squandered a chance to end the game in regulation. He missed a birdie putt on the par-3 16th hole at the stadium.
Scheffler, who was nine strokes back going into the weekend, fired a 62 on Saturday to close to within two strokes of leader Sahith Theegala and make the final group. Before the late push, Scheffler played the opening 12 holes at even par on Sunday, with four birdies and four bogeys.
Cantlay, the fourth-ranked player in the world, was making his debut appearance in the event, which he added to his schedule because he believed it would be easier to play three weeks in a row rather than going back and forth from Florida between two of his favorite events in California.
The FedEx Cup winner was on the verge of winning his third race in a row. He missed a 9-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation.
With a bogey on the par-4 17th after driving left into the water, Theegala, the rookie who had taken the lead earlier in the day, lost a share of the lead. The 24-year-old tied for third place at 15 under par with Brooks Koepka (69) and Xander Schauffele (68).
Since Martin Laird in the 2020 Shriners Children’s Open, Theegala has a chance to become the first player to win on a sponsor exemption.
Koepka, who also won in 2015, finished with birdies on 17 and 18.
Billy Horschel (66) and Alex Noren (68) were 14 under par, with Justin Thomas (66) and two-time winner Hideki Matsuyama another shot adrift (69).
Rahm tied for 10th place with a 67. The former Arizona State standout, who is currently rated No. 1, lives just a few miles from the course.
About the week, Rahm remarked, “The only time I really felt in charge of the golf swing was the first 18 holes and the last nine.” “That’s all there is to it.” “Everything else in between, a lot of the swings were a little shaky.”
Before midday, Carlos Ortiz brought the crazy 16th hole to life with his second hole-in-one in two days, just as the leaders were getting started.
On the 178-yard hole, his 8-iron fell just in front of the pin and slid in, catching the left edge. The raucous supporters flung bottles and cans on the field in joy a day after Sam Ryder drove the stadium crowd into a frenzy when he holed out from 124 yards, delaying play.
“You start trying to keep an eye on your head because I got hammered really hard on the back with a beer can,” Ortiz explained. “After that, I just tried to avoid as many cans as possible.”
Since the event relocated to the course in 1997, the ace was the 11th at No. 16. The last time two aces on 16 occurred in the same week was in 1997, when Tiger Woods did so in the third round and Steve Stricker did so in the fourth.
Ortiz began the back nine with a 13-foot eagle putt on the par-4 17th, becoming the first player this season to make consecutive eagles, and finished with a 67 to tie for 33rd place at 7 under par.
After Harry Higgs celebrated a par by pulling up his shirt, playing partner Joel Dahmen took off his shirt and swung it over his head, play was again delayed for a lengthy cleaning on 16 nearly an hour later. Both were out of the running.
After Thomas holed a 40-foot pitch from the back of the green, the crowd tossed more trash. On 16, Cantlay’s long birdie putt hopped up after hitting a mark on the green, leaving him with a 4-footer that he holed.
DIVOTS: No. 1 Rahm, No. 4 Cantlay, No. 7 Thomas, No. 8 Schauffele, and No. 10 Matsuyama all finished in the top ten players in the world. Viktor Hovland, who was ranked third, did not make the cut. Ryder finished in a tie for 23rd place at 9 under par.