UK & World News

  • 21 February 2013, 13:45

Arizona Desert Snow Thwarts Top Golfers

Top golfers Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were forced off a golf course in Arizona when a snowstorm made play impossible.

The snow halted the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship before McIlroy and Woods could tee off.

Caddies settled for a snowball fight in the car park of the desert course at Dove Mountain, 20 miles north of Tucson.

It was the first time Northern Ireland's McIlroy has had a tournament round postponed because of snow.

"I have never seen anything like that at a golf tournament," top-seeded McIlroy said.

"I've seen snow on the course when I was a kid, but nothing like that on any of the tours. It was crazy."

Dove Mountain's nine square miles sits at an elevation between 2,700 ft and 4,300 ft.

Play was suspended in the late morning and by the time play was called for the day, more than 1.5 inches had accumulated on the ground.

Australia's Jason Day, who would be enjoying warm summer temperatures if he were back home in Brisbane, said this was a first for him.

"This is crazy. I never played golf where you had to stop because of snow," Day said.

Meanwhile, Britain's Ian Poulter has now notched up double weather calamities this year - first with high winds in Hawaii and now snow.

"I can't believe it. When have we ever seen that?" Poulter said.

"The two events I've attempted to play this year have been three days of 50 mph wind and two inches of snow in an hour. It's absolutely, flippin' unbelievable."

Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado to Illinois.

The National Weather Service said parts of Kansas and northern Missouri could get up to a foot of snow, while Dodge City was warned of a possible 16 inches.

Forecasters said the snowstorm could be the Midwest's worst since 2011's Groundhog Day blizzard, which left hundreds of thousands without power and was blamed for the deaths of more than 20 people.

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