Heavy rain halted play for 6 hours at the Wentworth Club. When the downpour subsided, and play resumed, Colin Montgomerie was able to take a 3-up lead over Vijay Singh through 14 holes; while Ernie Els managed a 1-up lead over Lee Westwood through 12 holes.
The 36-hole semi-final matches will resume Sunday; once they are completed, the first 18 holes of the final match will commence. The final 18 holes of the championship match are scheduled for Monday morning.
This will mark just the fifth time in the tournament's 37-year history that play will extend into Monday. The last time came in 1988.
'It was a very long day and I was delighted to start,' said Montgomerie. 'I had seven birdies out there and missed two putts at the 13th and 14th that could have gone in so I'm happy with the position.'
Said Singh: 'It was a little bit tough and I spent a lot of the day watching my little boy playing cards. Colin made a lot of birdies but I expected that. There are a lot of holes left so there is no need to get anxious.'
Singh won this event in 1997. Montgomerie is the defending champion. In the lower half of the draw, Els is a three-time champion (1994-96). Lee Westwood is in search of is first Match Play title.
'The course played so long because there was so much moisture in the air,' said Westwood. 'I knocked it inside 15 feet at nearly every hole so I'm happy with the way I played tee to green. I just need the greens to dry out.'