Golf: Ryan Fox plummets off pace during disastrous third round at rain-plagued Phoenix Open

The rain-plagued Phoenix Open finished its second round on Sunday (NZ time) but couldn't get through the third, as play was halted due to darkness.

It was a brutal day out for Kiwi Ryan Fox, who endured a horror round to fall out of title contention.

Fox began the day in a share of sixth alongside stars Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas, but he capitulated on the front nine, with three bogies and a double bogey.

He's now tied for 48th - 10 shots behind leader Nick Taylor of Canada.

Ryan Fox in action during his third round.
Ryan Fox in action during his third round. Photo credit: Getty Images

Taylor leads the field at 13-under 130 through six holes of his third round. He went one-under for his abbreviated start. His birdie at the par-four fifth hole gave him the lead and a boost on a long day.

"It felt like we waited every shot, so it was pretty long, but it was nice to make a long putt there and make birdie when I feel like I kind of let one go on 3. But it was a good start," said Taylor, who opened the tournament by tying the course record at TPC Scottsdale with an 11-under 60.

Sahith Theegala, who held a one-shot lead when the second round was completed earlier in the day, played the first six holes of the third round at one-over. He made his tee shot at No. 7 and trailed Taylor by one stroke when play was paused.

Theegala acknowledged the difficulties the early holes posed.

"I'm glad they're over with. It was pretty smooth sailing the first two rounds, and golf is hard, and there's going to be tough patches, and I think I hit one of them just to start the round," Theegala said.

Doug Ghim, who completed seven holes of the third round, started with birdies at No. 1 and No. 3 and moved into a tie for third with Andrew Novak. They are two shots back of the lead.

Novak, who was tied for second with Taylor upon completion of the second round, had an up-and-down start to his third. He posted bogeys on Nos. 2 and 5 and a birdie at No. 4 to go 1 over through six holes.

Alone in fifth when play stopped Sunday was Jordan Spieth, who made it through the front nine with three birdies, including two at Nos. 8 and 9, with one bogey. He was at 10-under 134 for the tournament.