The Waste Management Phoenix Open Halfway Hut: Sahita Theegala leads, chased by high class trio

News, stats, quotes and social after two rounds on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale.

Sahith Theegala is an old fashioned golfer - and also an unusual one.

For one thing, he doesn't favour straight shots, preferring to fade or draw the ball. For another, he gets into trouble a fair bit, but thrives on escaping from tricky positions. And he also likes to freak fellow golfers out by hitting shanks on purpose when he's on the range.

Through 36 holes at TPC Scottsdale that idiosyncratic method is working.

Theegala carded a second round 64, soon after completing his delayed first round of 66, to lead the WM Phoenix Open by two shots on 12-under 130.

He's played some good golf in his rookie season - he led the Sanderson Farms Championship through 54 holes (finishing eight) and thrashed a 62 at The American Express last month - but he'll need to keep his foot to the floor in Arizona.

He's being chased by a high class trio in the form of Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele (tied second on 10-under), plus Patrick Cantlay (solo fourth one shot further back).

Let's take a look at the stats, what the leading contenders had to say, and the best of the social.


Five of the last six winners at TPC Scottsdale ranked top four for Strokes Gained Approach. Through the first two rounds the leads rankings in the category are: Theegala 16th, Koepka 3rd, Schauffele 14th, Cantlay 99th. (Max Homa and Talor Gooch, both tied fifth, rank 10th and 13th).

There remains plenty of potential for someone outside the top four to win. Three of the last four winners were tied eighth after 36 holes and four of the last 19 winners were outside the top 10 at this stage.

Sahith Theegala - leader on 12-under

"I haven't had time to let it set in and hopefully I don't think too much about it because obviously what I've been doing has been working the first couple days. Just thankful that I'm here and trying to make the most out of the opportunity. No expectations at all, honestly.

"I knew if I kept putting the ball in the fairway I'm going to have scoring opportunities."

Brooks Koepka - tied second on 10-under

"I drove it really nice. Excited to see the driver do what I want. Striking it good, maybe lost a little bit of speed on a few putts, come up a little short, maybe not hit hard enough. But the greens they're getting fast, they're getting firm, it will be interesting to see what they're like tomorrow.

"Being two back, I played pretty solid, I feel like I haven't made many mistakes so if I can keep doing that the rest of the weekend I'll be just fine. Touch a few things up with the putter with that speed, probably go work on that right now on the putting green, but it's nice, a little better position than I was last year, that's for sure."

Xander Schauffele - tied second on 10-under

"The putter's kind of holding me back right now, which is kind of unfortunate, so I guess I can take that as a positive and it means I'm playing good golf overall.

"I don't lose any sleep about my losses (including this event last year) at this point in my career. I just look forward to the next win and getting that done."

Patrick Cantlay - fourth on 9-under

"I drove the ball and putted really well today. I didn't hit a lot of great iron shots, but I hit a couple close coming down the stretch. When the greens are this good and you can get in a nice rhythm you can make a bunch of putts out there and today I did. I'm playing really well right now, my body feels good and I'm hitting it where I'm looking and making some putts and so, yeah, I'm playing well right now and it's fun to be out here.

"I still feel like I'm learning the golf course a little bit. This was really only my third trip around today. And so as I get more and more comfortable with the lines off the tee I think the key to this golf course is driving the ball in the fairway."


Superstars in town:

Schauffele on target:

And so is Abraham Ancer:


Hideki likes Scottsdale:

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