Wind and rain have turned to snow in Arizona as the first round of the WGC Match Play hits a delay before all four No. 1 seeds can get on the course.
The first round of the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play is not off to the best of starts, thanks to some nasty weather in Marana, Ariz. Because of the heightened elevation, snow, sleet, and freezing rain are possible at Dove Mountain and those elements combined for an early whitewash on the greens on Wednesday. The matches were suspended around 1 p.m. ET because of the accumulating snow on the putting surfaces.
***Update -- Video of the course less than an hour after play was suspended:
This is not the first time this tournament has been affected by poor weather, with cold temperatures turning precipitation into freezing rain and snow two years ago. It's still a pretty remarkable scene, with the desert terrain being pelted with snow and golfers, such as Matt Kuchar, trying to hit their shots onto greens covered in white.
Robby Ware, a PGA Tour Rules Official, told Steve Sands of Golf Channel that when the rain turned to ice and snow the greens simply became unplayable and they had to sound the horn. He seemed optimistic that the front would move through and play would resume, but the it appears to be getting worse and piling up during the first hour of the delay. The putting surfaces could barely be seen, and obviously the chunks of ice make them completely unpredictable and unplayable. Of course, the strong winds also don't help the weather situation. It's supposed to be clear for the rest of the week but there was some trouble expected Wednesday (although obviously not to this extent).
Some pictures from the media on scene:
It may be time to talk about relocating the Match Play. twitter.com/GCTigerTracker…— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) February 20, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, it's officially snowing in Tucson at Match Play. Play suspended. twitter.com/KellyTilghmanG…— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) February 20, 2013
Yep snow. twitter.com/RexHoggardGC/s…— Rex Hoggard (@RexHoggardGC) February 20, 2013
The brutal weather isn't putting everyone in a bad mood:
It's officially snowing, Carl Pettersson with the quote of the day so far"This is only one of few times it's an advantage to be fat" #cold— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) February 20, 2013
The biggest names, including Donald, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy have yet to tee off. No matches are complete yet, but both Matt Kuchar (facing Hiroyuki Fujita) and Jason Day (facing Zach Johnson) appear well on their way to first-round victories. Sergio Garcia, who went off in the first match of the day, is also on the verge of closing out Thongchai Jaidee on the 16th green.
More reactions and photos from the players as they wait out the storm:
This weather is officially ridiculous! twitter.com/McIlroyRory/st…— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) February 20, 2013
It's not getting any better...it's sticking! instagr.am/p/V9o1-mQu2G/— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowlerPGA) February 20, 2013
I've only ever played in an event with conditions like this once...... West of Ireland Championship in about 1998.#wintergolf— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) February 20, 2013
Here's a better pic. twitter.com/ZachJohnsonPGA…— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohnsonPGA) February 20, 2013
Yes yes the greens are covered in snow in Arizona. Wow it was freezing out there. instagr.am/p/V9o83tJg8o/— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) February 20, 2013
Have a look at this now , you must be joking ! twitter.com/sterndog29/sta…— Richard Sterne (@sterndog29) February 20, 2013
For a live bracket, visit Golf.com.