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Snow in the desert halts play

Last updated: 21st February 2013

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Wintry conditions in Arizona

Wintry conditions in Arizona

So it does snow in the desert after all, just ask those taking part in the Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Officials were forced to suspend the opening round after less than fours' play as there was too much snow at Dove Mountain on Wednesday.

None of the 32 matches were completed with 10 matches, including those of the world's two top-ranked players Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods yet to get underway.

McIlroy said on Twitter: "This weather is officially ridiculous."

Among the other encounters that started despite the freezing conditions was Sergio Garcia's match against Thongchai Jaidee with the Spaniard two up over his rival with 15 holes played.

Bo van Pelt is also close to victory as he was five up after 12 holes over Australian John Senden when play was called off, while Jason Day enjoyed a six-shot advantage over Zach Johnson through 10 holes.

Defending champion Hunter Mahan will also be in a good position when play eventually resumes as he is four up over Matteo Manassero of Italy through nine holes.

Ian Poulter, who was three up in his match against Stephen Gallacher through 12 holes, tweeted: "Yes yes the greens are covered in snow in Arizona. Wow it was freezing out there."

Fresh from winning his maiden European Tour title in Qatar, Chris Wood found himself level with Masters champion Bubba Watson after six, while Justin Rose held a two-shot lead over KJ Choi at the turn.

Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington had only just started when play was called off with the former tweeting: "Holy coldness. I've only ever played in an event with conditions like this once." It was the West of Ireland Championship in "about 1998".

The snow is expected to clear on Thursday morning, but frost could force officials to delay the start.

Making up lost time won't be a problem though as there are only 16 matches in the second round while the third round and quarter-finals could both be staged on Saturday.



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