WGC Accenture Match Play Championship: Day one ruined by snow
A deluge of snow meant just four hours of play was possible on day one of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Last Updated: 22/02/13 6:27pm
Not one of the 32 first round matches at the Dove Mountain course had been completed when the players were called in and it meant top seeds Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Luke Donald had not even teed off.
It was freezing cold in the Arizona desert as Sergio Garcia struck the opening shot of the first world championship of the season at 7.25am local time and that was followed by gusts of over 20mph, then rain, sleet and eventually snow.
Initially play was stopped due to ice on the greens and, if that decision seemed marginal at the time, it wasn't long before the entire course had turned white after thick snow.
Officials chose to leave a decision about any further action until midday local time but it came as no surprise when they opted to call play off for the day.
Closest to making progress was Garcia, who was two up against Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee on the 16th green, while 2010 winner Ian Poulter led Scot Stephen Gallacher by three after 12 and Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose was two holes in front of South Korean KJ Choi at the turn.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, winner in Abu Dhabi last month, fell three down after seven to Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, but seventh seed Lee Westwood quickly moved two up on Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello and fellow Englishman Chris Wood was all square with Masters champion Bubba Watson after six.
"It's like playing at home in January," said Wood, whose first European Tour title came in the warmth of Qatar four weeks ago. "It was cold when we teed off and then got colder."
The snow should have cleared by the morning, but there is the possibility of frost that could further delay things.
The tournament does have the ability to make up a lot of lost time, however, with the likeliest scenario now being that the third round and quarter-finals will both be staged on Saturday.