Snow suspends Match Play Championship

For the second time in three years, snow on Dove Mountain has delayed action as almost an inch of snow covers course.

    Snow suspends Match Play Championship
    Snow go area: The white stuff covers the first hole tee and the grandstand in Arizona [GALLO/GETTY]

    Driving snow forced a suspension of play in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday, with the prospect of any resumption looking bleak.

    Just over three-and-a-half hours of golf was possible before play was stopped on a bitterly cold and breezy morning at Dove Mountain before officials halted action at the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event as ice began to form on the greens.

    With further snow showers forecast for the rest of the day in Arizona's high desert, officials said the tournament would remain in "a holding pattern" until 1pm local (2000 GMT) when they would re-evaluate conditions.

    A thick blanket of snow at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club covered the entire course, driving range and practice putting green as most of the players and caddies huddled in the clubhouse.

    "The caddies have officially just had a snow ball fight. Never seen anything like it"

    Ian Poulter tweet

    Britain's Ian Poulter, the 2010 champion, tweeted: "The caddies have officially just had a snow ball fight. Never seen anything like it."

    It was the second time in three years that snow had forced a delay in play at Dove Mountain.

    Almost an inch of snow covered the course before thawing out for the start of the 2011 final between Britain's Luke Donald and Germany's Martin Kaymer, which was later interrupted by sleet. Donald went on to win that final 3&2.

    In Wednesday's early matches, Australian Jason Day was in full command against American Zach Johnson, four birdies in the first eight holes helping him go 6up after 10.

    American Bo Van Pelt was 5up on Australian John Senden after 12 holes, defending champion Hunter Mahan was 4up on Italy's Matteo Manassero after nine and American Matt Kuchar was 3up on Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita after 14.

    Northern Ireland's world number one Rory McIlroy, beaten by Mahan 2&1 in last year's final, and three-times champion Tiger Woods were among those yet to start their first-round matches.

    McIlroy has been drawn to play Irishman Shane Lowry in the opening round while Woods will face fellow American Charles Howell III.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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