Sport Golf

Thursday 18 January 2018

Snow joke: Irish stars have to wait out the weather at Match Play Championships

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry
Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry
Snow falls on golf fans at they look for cover during the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

THE MUCH anticipated clashes between Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington, and Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona were delayed this evening due to snow storms.

PLAY was suspended at 11.07 local (1807 GMT) because of driving rain and snow in the opening round of the championship.

Just over three-and-a-half hours of golf was possible on a bitterly cold and breezy morning at Dove Mountain before officials halted the action at the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event as ice began to form on the greens.

Rain, wind and the chance of further snow showers have been forecast for the rest of the day in Arizona's high desert.

In the early matches, Australian Jason Day was in full command against American Zach Johnson, four birdies in the first eight holes helping him go 6up after 10.

American Bo Van Pelt was 5up on Australian John Senden after 12 holes, defending champion Hunter Mahan was 4up on Italy's Matteo Manassero after nine and American Matt Kuchar was 3up on Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita after 14.

Northern Ireland's world number one Rory McIlroy, beaten by Mahan 2&1 in last year's final, and three-times champion Tiger Woods were among those yet to start their first-round matches.

McIlroy has been drawn to play Irishman Shane Lowry in the opening round while Woods will face fellow American Charles Howell III.


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