[PHOTO: Orlando Ramirez]

If you’re going to miss the first half of the Super Bowl, it should be for something worthwhile. Nick Taylor did his part on that front. Although Taylor’s win on the second hole of overtime in the WM Phoenix Open was a bit of a buzzkill for Charley Hoffman, his finish to get into the playoff was nothing short of electric, birdieing three of the final four holes at TPC Scottsdale when it appeared Hoffman had it locked up.

Making all those birdie putts (his 24 birdies ranked third for the week) was no aberration as he led the field in strokes gained/putting, picking up nearly nine shots on the field with his TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter, a club he had in the bag when he won the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 2023 RBC Canadian Open, holing a 72-footer to win.

Three consecutive birdies late at WM Phoenix Open help top Nick Taylor’s super Sunday

“The putter has a T-line alignment on the red-coloured head,” Taylor told Golf Digest in 2021. “I used the Spider in 2017 and only had a single dot on top. I went away from that and then in 2018 I was struggling on the greens, and I went back to the Spider at Wyndham and shot 63 in the final round to keep my tour card and I’ve used it ever since. The T helped me not only get lined up properly, but in hitting the centre of the face every time. Now that I’m using a line on my ball as well it almost looks like a grid when I look down at it.”

Taylor dropped a career-high 459 feet of putts for the week, plus nearly 30 feet more over the two playoff holes. Worthwhile, indeed.

What Nick Taylor had in the bag at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Fujikura Atmos Blue 6X), 10 degrees

3-wood: Titleist TSi2, 15 degrees

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max, 18 degrees

Hybrid: Titleist TSR2, 21 degrees

Irons (4): Titleist T200; (5-9): Titleist T100; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM10

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM10 (54, 58 degrees)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red