Winter storm threatens Accenture Match Play opener

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Winter storm threatens Accenture Match Play opener

CREATED Feb 19, 2013

Meteorologist: Aaron Brackett

Dove Mountain, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Tuesday's wind is a precursor to a big storm set to arrive overnight -- and its already affecting one of the area's biggest events, Accenture Match Play.

After many days of above average temeratures and wonderful sunny skies, another winter storm is on the way, just in time for the tournament. Tuesday, flags whipped as wind speeds topped out near 30mph at Dove Mountain and higher gusts are still expected.

Wwith so much at stake, golfers and officials need to know what to expect, and that falls on Stewart Williams, a meteorologist who travels with the PGA Tour.

He says accenture match play is always dynamic. 

"I remember days we had 90 degree weather for a week, where it was extremely warm, I have seen frost delays where its really cold," said Williams. "I have pretty much seen it all here."

Dustin Johnson finished his practice round on the windy course when 9OYS caught up to him.

"[The course] is pretty tough when its not windy, so when its windy, it makes it a little bit tougher, espcially driving the ball; out here its crucial driving the fairway," Said Johnson.

Graham McDowell is from Ireland, so he may have a slight advantage with the weather.

"This is the kind of weather I grew up in, cold, wet, and windy, but I am also playing another Irishman tomorrow," said McDowell. "We are both pretty good in bad conditions but I'll lose that advantage because he is pretty good too."

According to Williams, if tWednesday's storm is intense enough to delay play, rounds will likely get backed up further in the week.

"There are 64 players in the first round, so we have all day of golf, we have to play all day to finish the round, so if we do get stopped and we can't complete it, then we will have to come back Thursday morning to complete that," Said Williams.

Despite the bad conditions expected for Wednesday's opener, the match is expected to continue as long as there isn't sticking snow, or water that ponds on the greens.