Snow in Arizona desert

Monday 04th Mar 2013 by theWeather Club

Driving snow forced a suspension of play in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in mid-February. With only three-and-a-half hours of golf played on a bitterly cold and breezy morning at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, officials halted action at the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event as snow began to settle on the greens on the course in Arizona's high desert.

Play was suspended in the late morning and by the time play was called for the day, about 4cm had accumulated on the ground. A thick blanket of snow at Dove Mountain covered the entire course, driving range, practice putting green and even started to settle on the cacti that surround the course.

Britain's Ian Poulter, the 2010 champion, tweeted: "The caddies have officially just had a snow ball fight. Never seen anything like it."

Rory McIlroy has golfed in driving rain and umbrella-snapping winds, but the world number one had never seen a tournament round postponed because of a snowstorm. "I've seen snow on the course when I was a kid, but nothing like that on any of the tours. It was crazy" he said.

The Dove Mountain area of Arizona occasionally receives snowfall, but the blizzard surprised everyone.