San Francisco Chronicle

Defending champ Scheffler leads at Phoenix Open


Defending champion Scottie Scheffler took the lead into the weekend in the Phoenix Open, with local favorite Jon Rahm right behind at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.

The second-ranked Scheffler played 25 holes Friday, completing a 3-under-par 68 in the first round and shooting a bogey-free 64 in the second to get to 10-under. He had a two-stroke lead over Rahm and Adam Hadwin when play was suspended because of darkness.

Rahm, the former Arizona State standout ranked No. 3, also returned early to finish the first round. He shot 68-66 to possibly set up a showdown with Scheffler for the No. 1 ranking.

“That would be a lot of fun,” Scheffler said. “It looks like right now we’re 1 and 2, but we’ll see how things shake out.”

• Tiger Woods is returning to competitio­n without the use of a cart for the first time since July, announcing he will play at the Genesis Invitation­al in Los Angeles next week. It will be his first regular PGA Tour event since Oct. 25, 2020.

Chock, Bates of U.S. lead in rhythm dance

Madison Chock and Evan Bates took the lead after the rhythm dance at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championsh­ips as the American ice dancers seek their third title in the marquee internatio­nal event.

Chock and Bates, fresh off their fourth national championsh­ip, scored 87.67 points. That was enough to edge Canadian national champs Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen, who scored 86.28 points, and Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, who scored 79.04 points.

The pairs competitio­n also began at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., where world silver medalists Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan led with 71.19 points after their short program. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Canada were second and Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe of the U.S. were third.

Baseball: Pitcher Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros agreed to a $64 million, five-year contract that avoided a salary arbitratio­n hearing. Javier gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $3 million this season, $7 million in 2024, $10 million in 2025 and $21 million in each of the following two years.

NHL: John Tavares scored twice and Ilya Samsonov stopped 30 shots for his third shutout of the season, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 . ... Vladmir Tarasenko scored early in his New York debut, Kaapo Kakko and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and an assist, and the Rangers beat visiting Seattle 6-3 for their fourth straight win. College basketball: New Mexico State suspended operations of its men’s basketball program indefinite­ly and placed its coaching staff on paid administra­tive leave due to allegation­s the school says are unrelated to a fatal shooting involving one of its players last year.

• Jayden Taylor scored 20 points, Manny Bates added 19 and a goaltendin­g call on Eric Hunter Jr.’s drive to the basket with 2.5 seconds left helped host Butler to a 69-67 win over No. 13 Xavier . ... Gabriela Jaquez scored 14 points and women’s No. 18 UCLA beat visiting Oregon State 62-54.

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