Defending champion Scottie Scheffler leads by two strokes after Friday at the Phoenix Open

By Sports Desk February 10, 2023

Scottie Scheffler won his first PGA Tour title 12 months ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he is looking to defend that crown as he heads into the weekend with a two stroke lead at 10 under.

A large chunk of the field still have between five and eight holes remaining before they complete their second round, with a delay on Thursday creating a backlog as players had to finish their first round early Friday morning.

Scheffler was part of the early group and followed his opening 68 with a seven-under 64, and he was the only player to shoot seven under on his second trip around TPC Scottsdale.

It is shaping up as a tantalising battle at the top of the leaderboard after Jon Rahm's 66 clawed his way into a tie for second at eight under, where he is joined by round-one leader Adam Hadwin, who still has eight holes to play.

Im Sung-jae will have his sights set on posting the best second-round score, with time being called while he was six under through 12 holes, and tied for fourth with Wyndham Clark at seven under overall.

The only other player with a second-round score of six under or better was Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas, rebounding strongly from an even-par opener, and he has four holes remaining to try and match Scheffler's heroics. 

Also in a tie for sixth with Vegas are former world number one Jason Day and current world number six Xander Schauffele, while the dangerous duo of Tom Kim and Jordan Spieth are one further back at five under.

Major champions Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are still in the hunt at three under, Viktor Hovland is at two under, and Hideki Matsuyama is at one under with five holes to play.

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