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Round 1 forecast: Snow storms, high winds and biting cold

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PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 15: Ian Poulter of England reacts during a practice round prior to the start of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 15, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)  - 

MARANA, Ariz. – Here is a forecast you don’t see much at a golf tournament: “3 p.m. – Rain changing to snow showers. Temp 41 F. Winds: SW 20-30 gusting to 35 mph.”

That was what awaited the field on Wednesday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Although the morning matches got underway without delay, the forecast of a winter storm warning meant it was going to be a long opening round at Dove Mountain, particularly for the top-seeded players.

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Rory McIlroy (12:05 p.m. local), Tiger Woods (12:25), Luke Donald (11:45 a.m.) and Louis Oosthuizen (11:25) were all scheduled to tee off in the worst of the conditions.

According to the forecast snow, levels will start the day around 5,000 feet and drop to 2,800 feet (Dove Mountain ranges from 2,300 to 3,200 feet), and up to 2 inches could accumulate this afternoon.

We asked one caddie preparing for play on the practice tee early Wednesday how he prepares for snow. “You don’t,” the caddie said.