The year of the underdog continues with Nick Taylor scoring 68-65 across a wild weekend at the WM Phoenix Open to take home a playoff victory over Charley Hoffman. It may. not sound like much on paper considering a 120-1 longshot beat a 300-1 longshot, but the ending to this tournament was as good as PGA Tour golf gets.
For a while, it looked as if Hoffman, who has not won a PGA Tour event since 2016 and has just one top 10 since the beginning of 2021, would take home the trophy with a 64-64 closing kick. However, Taylor birdied three of his last four holes to match Hoffman at 21 under and take the tournament back to the 18th tee box for extra holes.
Taylor, who matched a course record scoring 60 on Thursday, birdied the 18th on a second straight try, and he aggressively walked that one in.
Incredibly, Hoffman covered him up with a 3 of his own to send it back to the 18th tee box for a second playoff hole. After a Hoffman miss from 28 feet, Taylor — you’re not going to believe this — again made birdie, this time for $1.5 million and his fourth career PGA Tour victory.
At 120-1, you would not expect Taylor to be one of the shorter odds winners so far this year, but the only player shorter was actually Wyndham Clark, who won the Pebble Beach Pro Am last week. It has been a crazy run of triple-digit odds champions on the PGA Tour to start 2024.
Taylor nearly won this tournament a year ago, redeeming that loss by defeating Scottie Scheffler (who beat him last year) along with Hoffman and a host of other top players in the world. While his 120-1 odds were fairly long (not for this season, apparently), it became clear at some point down the stretch that Taylor is not somebody one should bet against. If they had played the 18th another 15 times, he would have birdied it as many times as it took to win. Another longshot victory, but undoubtedly a performance to remember.