MARANA, Arizona (AFP) –
Matt Kuchar, Jason Day and Bo Van Pelt polished off first-round victories Thursday as the WGC Match Play Championship at last got underway after a lengthy snow delay.
Kuchar had held a 3-up advantage over Japan’s Hiroyui Fujita when play was suspended on Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday he parred the 15th and 16th holes to complete a 3 and 2 victory.
He was to play the winner of the first-round match between Sergio Garcia and Thongchai Jaidee, which had been extended to extra holes.
Australian Jason Day also booked his second-round berth, with a 6 and 5 win over Zach Johnson.
Van Pelt defeated Australian John Senden 6 and 5, needing just one hole after Thursday’s restart to end his match with a par at the par-five 13th. Senden bogeyed the hole after a tee shot into desert native area.
Play on Thursday was delayed by more than four hours as officials and golfers waited for the snow that struck on Wednesday to melt.
All but nine of the 32 matches were on the golf course Wednesday when the freak storm dropped almost two inches of snow on the Ritz Carlton Golf Club course at Dove Mountain.
McIlroy was to take on Ireland’s Shane Lowry in the first round while Woods, a three-time winner of the World Golf Championships event, took on Charles Howell.