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Just as they drew it up: Big names rise to occasion at $20 million 2023 WM Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The PGA Tour’s first full-field designated event is working pretty much as planned.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy – who admitted after Thursday’s first round: “I wouldn’t say that this is a golf course that sets up terribly well for me. I struggle off the tee here.” – was outside the top 25 after 36 holes were in the books and a couple big names failed to make the cut – Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa – but all in all, the formula worked.

The best names in the game came to play at TPC Scottsdale this week.

A Thursday frost delay led to a Saturday completion of the second round, but after those 36 holes were done, the leaderboard was stacked with big names:

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler, who broke through for his first Tour win here a year ago, posted a 64 on Friday to get to 10 under
Adam Hadwin finished off his second-round 66 on Saturday to also get to 10 under
Jon Rahm is among three heavyweights at 8 under after scores of 68-66
Xander Schauffle, who has finished in the top 20 in all five of his appearances at the tournament, including T-2 and T-3 the last two years, has a pair of 67s so far this week, and is also at 8 under
Jordan Spieth opened with a 71 but shot the round of the week so far in round 2 with a 63, is at 8 under
Jason Day is solo eighth at 6 under
Tom Kim, Rickie Fowler, Sam Ryder and Sungjae Im are among an eight-way tie for ninth at 5 under
Max Homa and Tony Finau are lurking at 4 under, six shots back of the lead

No doubt, the stage is now set for fireworks. Saturday’s tickets are sold out and massive crowds expected.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

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