• WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Round One

Snowstorm interrupts Poulter's good start

ESPN staff
February 20, 2013
Justin Rose was fired up before the snow came down © Getty Images

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A snowstorm in Arizona has caused play to be abandoned on day one of the World Match Play Championship.

After initially suspending play, tournament officials reviewed the course at 8.00pm and their decision did not take long, abandoning the day's action just five minutes later. Play will re-start on Thursday but no set time has been established.

Match-play expert Ian Poulter was three-up on Stephen Gallacher after 12 holes before the officials called him back to the club house while Justin Rose was two up on his opponent Choi Kyung-Ju.

Lee Westwood was quick off the mark in his match with Rafael Cabrera-Bello and stands at two-up after five holes, in part thanks to birdieing the third hole. England's Chris Wood is all square with last year's Masters winner Bubba Watson through six holes despite having sunk three bogeys. No birdies have been hit by either player while Watson has hit a bogey and a double bogey.

Big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts won three straight holes starting at the third and Bill Haas had not made a response after eight holes.

There was a strong case for Spaniard Sergio Garcia to be the player most upset by the timing of the adverse weather as he was a 12-foot putt away from almost certainly ensuring his passage into the next round. At two-up over Thongchai Jaidee, who faces a 96-foot putt, Garcia just has to win the hole to end the match.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy did not even get out on the course to start his match with long-time friend Shane Lowry.

"I got here, had an hour to warm up, it started to rain first and then all of a sudden everyone was saying it was snowing and I thought there was no chance we were going to get playing," McIlroy told Sky Sports News.

"I would rather play him [Lowry] when it was not snowing. We know we are going to go out there and try and play our best and whoever plays better is going to win and go through to the next round. It's a shame that one of us has to go out in the first round, it would be nice to see us get to the latter stages but I am looking forward to it and it will be a lot of fun."

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