Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

A volunteer walks along the practice green as snow falls during the Match Play Championship. / Ross Franklin, AP

MARANA, Ariz. - Snow turned Wednesday's first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship into a white out.

Frost will deal a cold hand, too, the rest of the week.

A low pressure system and cold front moving across the state sent temperatures tumbling and heavy snow falling to first delay, and then suspend play at Dove Mountain. Only 21 of the 32 matches started; world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and world No. 2 Tiger Woods didn't hit one shot.

Play was first delayed at 1:07 p.m. ET as high winds mixed with temperatures in the low 40s turned rain into snow and sent the bundled players back to the warmth of the clubhouse. It snowed for nearly two hours - sometimes sideways. Accumulation was up to 4 inches on some parts of the course when play was called for the day. Greens, cacti, rocks and bunkers all turned white.

"I've never actually played golf to the point where we've actually stopped for snow, which is kind of crazy. But that's just how it is. Mother Nature can just do whatever she wants," said Jason Day, who was 6 up on Zach Johnson through 10 holes before play was halted.

Drizzle first fell, then hard rain, then sleet and then snow.

"It's absolutely remarkable to think one minute we're playing golf, albeit it's a little cool, and then within a space of 25 minutes, it turns from playable to cold drizzle to sleet and to snow," said Ian Poulter, who was 3 up through 12 on Stephen Gallacher. "And within an hour and a half of all that starting, you've got 2 inches of snow plus on the ground. It's just bizarre."

Day said players expected rain and cold and he had four layers of clothing on to start the day. He later added a rain suit.

"You had to put the umbrella up because (the sleet) started hurting once it hit your face," Day said. "After that, then it just started snowing and then just didn't stop."

Players made the most of the cold situation. Branden Grace threw snowballs. Graeme McDowell told players that skis and ski boots were available at the front desk. According to a Luke Donald tweet, hefty Carl Pettersson had the quote of the day: "This is only one of few times it's an advantage to be fat." And desserts in player dining went quickly.

"I had three - two chocolate mousse servings and one chocolate-covered strawberry on a stick," Day said. "It seems like every rain delay or snow delay that we have, you just seem to sit there and eat dessert."

There have been plenty of delays this year on the Tour. Heavy winds delayed the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Championship for three days in Hawaii and fog wiped out an entire day at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Mother Nature hasn't been kind in the Tucson area over the years, either. The 2011 final between Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer was delayed for 30 minutes because of frost - and snow. Later, a hail storm delayed play for five minutes. And in 2001, the Tour's Tucson Open was delayed one day because of snow. Tim Clark, who is 1 down to Adam Scott through eight holes, was one of five players who took the lead in the first round in 2001.

Now frost will delay play, according to the extended forecast. Highs are expected to be in the upper 50s and lower 60s the rest of the week, but with lows expected to drop into the low 30s each day, frost is expected.

"Unfortunately we'll have below normal temperatures for the rest of the week, but at least we'll have some sun," on-site meteorologist Stewart Williams said.

Mark Russell, the Tour's vice president of Rules and Competitions, said the match-play format and limited, 64-man field can overcome a lengthy delays and other minor delays and still finish on time.

"We have a lot more leeway in this situation than we would have in 144 man or 156 man stroke play competition," he said.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Snow suspends Match Play in Arizona

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

SAT
25
SUN
26
MON
27
TUE
28
WED
29
THU
30
FRI
31

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX