Nasty weather expected in Round 1 of Match Play

No. 3 on the Saguro nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course Dove Mountain

MARANA, Ariz. – The first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play is always one of the most interesting on the PGA Tour. Wednesday’s forecast should only add to the intrigue.

Wednesday’s first matches were greeted by cold, breezy weather. Players sported stocking caps and rain gear to combat temperatures in the 40s. And the weather is expected to only worsen as the day goes on.

Temperatures are expected to drop more than 10 degrees in the middle of the day, to 37 degrees. The wind chill will be 26 degrees as breezes strengthen to approximately 20 mph. There’s also a 70 percent chance of rain between noon and 1 p.m.

The temperature isn’t expected to rise above 50 degrees all day. Winds of 20 mph and sporadic showers are expected throughout the afternoon. Dove Mountain’s design won’t do players any favors. The course forces players to play aerial approaches to the greens. This will only increase the wind’s impact. “This golf course isn't really built for the elements in a way,” Rory McIlroy said.

The one consolation is that players will face the same conditions as their opponent, unlike a stroke-play event where players tee off hours apart. “The weather is not going to change in a minute between the shots that you're playing when your partner is playing,” said Lee Westwood. “The weather is just a case of ... getting your head down and getting on with it.”

The player who can do that Wednesday will have an advantage, because they’re all in for a trying day at the Match Play.

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