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2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play: Snow suspends 1st round in Arizona

The PGA Tour has officially suspended play for the first day in snow-covered Tucson.

Stuart Franklin

The PGA Tour has cancelled first round play on Wednesday at the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Mark Russell of the PGA Tour was set to update the players with an announcement around 3 p.m. ET, and as expected, play was called at the snowy Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

Play was suspended just after 11 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) as the precipitation turned to freezing rain and then snow. The snow started to accumulate on the greens, making the putting surface unplayable. It didn't take long for the accumulation to turn the course white, with the fairways and greens completely covered less than an hour after play was called.

Robby Ware, a PGA Tour rules official, told the Golf Channel that he was hoping it would stop and the suspension would only last an hour or so. But then weather reports said it might persist for as many as four hours, which would obviously make a resumption of play on Wednesday impossible. As it was, the amount of accumulation during the 90-minute burst was enough to cancel play for the day.

The snow did stop around 2:30 p.m. ET, but the temperatures remained around freezing and it didn't look like the snow coverage would be melting away any time soon. This is not the first time snow has hit the Tucson area course, with accumulation covering it two years ago when Luke Donald won there. The repeated delays this year could put this site in jeopardy as the annual stop in the future. As Kelly Tilghman noted on Golf Channel, snow has affected play on the PGA Tour only six times in the last 40 years, with four of those instances occurring around Tucson.

All four No. 1 seeds -- Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, and Louis Oosthuizen -- have yet to tee off. No first round match has finished, with Sergio Garcia and Thongchai Jaidee getting all the way to the 16th green. Garcia is set to close out Jaidee in the first match of the day. Tiger was scheduled to tee off against Charles Howell III at 2:25 p.m. ET but that obviously got whitewashed away before either play could warm up on the range.

The final four and championship were already scheduled for a full 36-hole sun-up to sun-down march on Sunday. Now, the PGA Tour will likely have to double up on Saturday as well, but we'll update once the schedule for the rest of the week is announced.

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