Snow in the desert halts Match Play Championship

Golf ball in snow
The WGC Match Play Championship is halted by heavy snow at Dove Mountain in Arizona. Slush and flakes began settling on the greens and fairways midway through Wednesday's opening round.
Graeme McDowell chips in the snow
The Match Play is the first major event of the 2013 season. Leading players, including 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell (pictured), attempted to play through the conditions, but were called into the clubhouse before any matches could be completed.
Cactus covered in snow
The weather continued to worsen and at one point the winter storm dumped close to two inches of snow on Dove Mountain in little over an hour.
Snow on a green
"This weather is officially ridiculous!" tweeted world number one Rory McIlroy, while Jason Day of Australia added: "A little crazy for it to snow in the desert. But that's just how it is. Mother Nature can do whatever she wants."
Martin Kaymer surveys the snow
Forecasters admitted the amount of snowfall was “nearly unprecedented" for the area, but this is the second time in three years that wintry weather has interrupted the Match Play Championship. Light snow covered everything ahead of the championship match in 2011 between Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer (pictured).
Wintry leaderboard
With the freezing conditions expected to ease by the weekend, course officials, the PGA Tour and broadcasters are to meet to decide how to get the 64-man tournament back on schedule.
Snow on a green
For now, it is simply a case of watching the flakes fall on the greens as the players retire to the warmth of their hotel rooms and caddies throw snowballs in the car parks.