Snow halts play at WGC match play

MARANA, Ariz., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- More than an inch of snow fell on the Golf Club at Dove Mountain Wednesday, halting the opening round of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

None of the 32 first-round matches could be finished before the storm rolled through and none of the top four seeds -- Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Louis Oosthuizen -- had teed off when play was suspended.


The action was scheduled to resume at 10:30 a.m. EST Thursday with the second round matches expected to begin later in the day.

"We got this freak snow storm," PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell said. "Even if it melted in the next hour or so, the golf course would not be ready to play for another hour or an hour and a half after that.

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"We just couldn't play. Rather than keep the players around here, we just made a decision that we're going to come back tomorrow and finish the first matches."

Sergio Garcia, playing in the first match of the day, had a 2-up lead through 15 holes against Thongchai Jaidee and was facing a putt to close out the match when play was stopped.


There were 21 matches on the course when the suspension came. McIlroy, who missed the cut in his only other appearance of the 2013 season, was scheduled to face Shane Lowry. Woods will meet Charles Howell III.

The biggest surprise in the early going had seen Jason Day take a 6-up lead through 10 holes against former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Charl Schwartzel was all square with 2013 tour winner Russell Henley through 11 holes and Bubba Watson was all square with Chris Wood through six.

Hunter Mahan had moved 4-up in front of Matteo Manassero through nine while Richard Sterne had a 3-up advantage over Jason Dufner through 10.

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