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In only a short amount of time for golf, there was some impressive play considering the conditions.
Bo Van Pelt, who took three shots to get out of a bunker early in his match against John Senden, won six straight holes — only two of them with birdies — to build a 5-up lead through 12. Matt Kuchar was 3 up over Hiroyuki Fujita through 14 holes, while defending champion Hunter Mahan was 4 up at the turn over Matteo Manassero.
"We knew this was coming, so I think we were all somewhat prepared for the cold and everything," Mahan said. "We also didn’t think we were actually high enough to get snow, and get this amount. We go sleet and ice, and you can’t putt or hit shots with ice coming at you."
The best competition might have come after play ended.
Fowler wound up and fired snowballs from the parking lots. The caddies spent an hour having a snowball fight, though most of the players stayed inside.
That included Carl Pettersson, a guy who tries to see the glass half-full. With it being this cold, the Swede said, "This is one time I have the advantage of being fat."
With delays like this, he might have company.
"It seems like every rain delay — or snow delay — that we have, you just seem to sit there and eat dessert," Day said. "And there’s a bunch of yummy chocolates in there."
None of the top four seeds had teed off. Charles Howell III, who hasn’t faced Woods since the third round of the 1996 U.S. Amateur, hit four putts on the practice green when he arrived. That was the extent of his work Wednesday.
This was the second time in three years that wintry weather interrupted the Match Play Championship. A light snow covered everything but tee boxes and greens the morning of the championship match in 2011 between Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer. It cleared before their match, but then there was a brief delay because of sleet that turned greens white.
The last time the opening round was not finished was in 2005, when it never got started because of rain that put just about every hole at La Costa under water.
The tour wasted no time in sending players back to their hotels, even after it stopped snowing. There was a chance for more snow later Wednesday, and while low temperatures are expected again Thursday morning, the rest of the forecast is fine.
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