Shane Lowry got within two shots of the lead after a weather-affected opening day at the WM Phoenix Open, where Sahith Theegala set the clubhouse target.
Lowry mixed six birdies with two bogeys to card a four-under 67 at TPC Scottsdale, where heavy rain saw play suspended for three and a half hours and left half of the field unable to complete their opening rounds.
The Irishman – beginning on the 10th hole – birdied four of his opening six holes and cancelled out a bogey at the par-three 16th by holing from 35 feet at the next and picking up another shot at the 18th to reach the turn in 31.
Lowry bogeyed the par-four second and was tied for the lead when play was suspended at 12.30pm local time (7.30pm GMT), then made four pars to close when the round resumed to finish two strokes back from Theegala.
“I was going quite well, obviously, before the delay,” Lowry said. “It got really bad towards the end, it was quite tough. We came back out, the wind was not blowing as strong, but the ball was going nowhere, and it was cold and kind of tough. I was happy I made a couple of really nice saves coming in, and I’m pretty happy with my day’s work.”
Theegala reached the turn in 33 and holed from off the second green for the first of three consecutive birdies, then bounced back from bogeying the fifth to birdie the next to close a six-under 65 and move top of the leaderboard.
The American holes a one-shot lead over Andrew Novak, who eagled the par-five 13th and made three straight birdies from the 15th to move to five under after nine holes when play was suspended due to darkness at 6.10pm local time (1.10am BST).
Lowry shares third spot ahead of S.H Kim, with three-time major champion Jordan Spieth a further stroke back after a three-under 68. Nick Taylor and Cameron Young will resume on three under after six and five holes respectively, with Matt Fitzpatrick bogeying two of his final four holes after the weather delay to sign for a two-under 69.
World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, chasing a historic threepeat in Phoenix, is on one under after six holes and is among the afternoon wave that will return on Friday at 7.30am local time (2.30pm GMT) to resume their opening rounds.
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Lucas Glover missed his opening-round tee time and withdrew, after revealing he misread a text message with his tee time. The former US Open champion said he was in his hotel room when a tournament official called to inform him that he had a minute before his tee time.
“I’m kicking myself but laughing myself at the same time,” Glover said.
Watch the WM Phoenix Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 3pm on Sky Sports Golf from 3.30pm. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and more on NOW.
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