Miami Herald

Clutch putts help Nick Taylor win rowdy Phoenix Open

- From Miami Herald Wire Services

Nick Taylor’s clutch putting at the par-4 18th hole at TPC Scottsdale allowed him to defeat

Charley Hoffman ina playoff and win the WM Phoenix Open on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Taylor captured his fourth PGA Tour victory with his second dramatic finish in the past eight months. At the RBC Canadian Open last June, Taylor, a Canadian, made a 72-foot eagle putt to beat

Tommy Fleetwood.

This time, Taylor’s winning putt on the second playoff hole came from a more manageable 111⁄2 feet.

“It’s been fun to be in those moments,” said Taylor, 35, who was the runner-up at last year’s Phoenix Open. “I think last year I drew a lot on for the Canadian Open and I’ve drawn on that for plenty of other moments, as well.”

Hoffman shot his second straight 64 to charge ahead of the pack and be the first in the clubhouse at 21-under 263. Taylor finished his bogey-free round of 65 by hitting his second shot at No. 18 out of the rough to 91⁄2 feet of the cup, then sinking the birdie putt to force a playoff. Both extra holes were played at No. 18.

The pair finished the final round three shots ahead of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (66 on Sunday) and Sam Burns (64).

The tournament, known for its huge crowds — sometimes 200,000 a day — and party atmosphere, threatened to get out of hand. On Saturday, officials turned away ticket holders around 2 p.m. because it was too crowded. Part of the problem was that rain left some of the spectator areas too muddy to occupy, forcing fans to further crowd other areas. A woman fell in the stands and was injured Friday, and some players were upset by fan behavior.

ESPN reported that Jordan Spieth on Sunday was angry when a fan yelled during his backswing. He dropped his club, pointed to someone in the gallery and seemed to say, “What the [expletive]?”


College football: UCLA named former Bruins running back

DeShaun Foster as head coach. Foster, 44, replaces

Chip Kelly, who departed last week to become the offensive coordinato­r at Ohio State. Foster has 11 years of coaching experience following a six-season NFL playing career (2003-08). He has spent the past 10 seasons at his alma mater, including the past seven as running backs coach. He was associate head coach in 2023.

NBA: Mitch Kupchak is stepping down as Charlotte team president and will take on an advisory role with the club, the team announced. ESPN reported that new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin will have someone in place prior to the end of the regular season. Kupchak, 69, a 10-time NBA champion as a player and executive, was named president of basketball operations and general manager by the Hornets in April 2018 . ... Portland guard Malcolm Brogdon will miss at least two weeks as he recovers from tendinitis in his right knee. Brogdon, 31, has averaged 15.7 points and 5.5 assists in his first season in Portland.

Obituary: Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder from Kenya who was on track to be the first person to run the race in under two hours, died Sunday in a car accident along with his coach. Kiptum, 24, was driving his Toyota Premio in western Kenya when he veered off the road and hit a tree Sunday night, police said. His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, 37, also died. A 24-year-old female psasenger was seriously hurt. In October, Kiptum won the Chicago marathon in 2 hours 35 seconds, making him the first man to run an official race in under 2 hours 1 minute.

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