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Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor ties PGA Tour record at Phoenix Open

Canadian braves the frosty weather for career-low round
Nick Taylor, of Canada, hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Phoenix Open golf tournament Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor tied a PGA Tour record for the largest 18-hole lead in a stroke event with a bogey-free 11-under 60 in the weather-delayed first round of the Phoenix Open on Friday.

Taylor’s five-shot lead ties Jim Gallagher Jr. at the 1993 Tour Championship for the largest 18-hole lead in a stroke-play event since 1983. He also broke the largest 18-hole lead record at the Phoenix Open of four, set by Phil Mickelson in 2013.

A 3 1/2-hour weather delay in the first round forced about half the field to finish their first rounds at TPC Scottsdale on Friday morning. A frost delay of more than 90 minutes pushed back the resumption of the first round even more.

Taylor was 4 under through six holes after starting on No. 10 to start Thursday’s first round and returned to reel off four straight birdies starting on No. 18. He added three more birdies, including from nine feet on the par-4 ninth, to shoot 29 on the Stadium Course’s front nine.

Taylor’s 60 matches the course record set four previous times, last by Mickelson in 2013. Taylor leads overnight leader Sahith Theegala and three others by five shots heading into Friday’s second round.

Andrew Novak, Doug Ghim and Maverick McNealy also shot first-round 65s.