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Snow coats Arizona course before Match Play final

- Associated Press - Sunday, February 27, 2011

MARANA, ARIZ. (AP) - Luke Donald looked out from his hotel room and saw Dove Mountain covered in snow Sunday morning, not the conditions he would expect in the hours before the Match Play Championship final against Martin Kaymer.

A late winter storm overnight dropped nearly an inch of snow on The Ritz-Carlton Club. Four hours before the championship match, the first fairway was blanketed with snow.

Donald posted a photo on Twitter from outside his hotel room.

"Check out the snow, pre round snow ball fight to see who has the honor off the first??" he tweeted.

The snow was not expected to stop the golf, however.

The sun began to break through an hour later, and tournament director Mark Russell did not anticipate any delays. He said the greens were mowed and rolled Saturday night and would be mowed again ahead of the 12:25 p.m. local time start.

"I think we're in good shape," Russell said.

It was not the first time Russell recalled seeing snow on the course during a tournament. He said it also snowed in Tucson during the 1990s when it was a regular PGA Tour event, and he said it snowed in Greensboro, N.C., one year when that tournament was played a week before the Masters.

Tournament officials decided to change the schedule because of the forecast. Originally, the semifinals were to be played Sunday morning, followed by an 18-hole championship match in the afternoon. Instead, the semifinals were played Saturday afternoon. Had the schedule not been altered, the tournament could not have finished until Monday.

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