Rory McIlroy branded it "officially ridiculous".
Carl Pettersson opted for self-deprecating humour when admitting: "This is one of the few times it is an advantage to be fat." A group of caddies passed time by having a snowball fight in front of the clubhouse. Welcome to February in Arizona.
The WGC Accenture Match Play Championship was afforded a backdrop of high farce as a snow storm caused a suspension at 11.07am, less than four hours into the opening day's action. Unsurprisingly, given the volume of snow and the temperature, players were informed at 1pm that matches had been halted until Thursday.
The organisers will now pray for no further damaging interventions from the elements. Frost, ominously, is forecast for each remaining morning of the event although conditions are otherwise due to improve. A starting field of just 64, which will be reduced round by round, is also of benefit. "I don't think we'll have any problem at all, if the weather remains nice, finishing Sunday on time," said Mark Russell, the tournament director.
"Today was pretty crazy. It's just climate change, you know. What can you say? Once we got an inch, two inches of snow, even if it melted in an hour it would take another hour and a half, or more, to let the course drain to the point where we could play. So we just decided to pull the plug on it.
"We have a lot of possibilities with this small field and it cuts itself in half every time we have a series of matches. We have a lot more leeway in this situation than we would have in a 144-man or 156-man strokeplay competition."
Thick snow had been predicted for the outskirts of Tucson and a meaningful quantity of it duly arrived, covering the golf course. Amongst those frustrated by the dreadful conditions were Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Sergio García, who had taken themselves leads over Stephen Gallacher, KJ Choi and Thongchai Jaidee respectively. "Wow, it was freezing out there," said Poulter. "Never seen anything like it."
Jason Day had even more cause to be annoyed, having raced to six up on Zach Johnson after 10 holes. "I have never actually played golf to the point where we have stopped for snow, which is kind of crazy," said Day. "It is a little crazy for it to snow in the desert, as well. But that's just how it is. Mother Nature can just do whatever she wants. I was playing out there with four layers on.
"You could see from a distance that it was coming in. When those big snowflakes started to fall, there was no chance."
Although this is desert territory, such weather at high altitude is not entirely unusual. Frost and hail caused problems in the Match Play Championship in 2011, with the final of that year only just completed before heavy snow fell.
"This is unbelievable," said McIlroy. "Everyone knows it snowed here a couple of years ago but it was nothing like this. There are three or four inches of snow on the putting green." McIlroy and Tiger Woods were yet to start their opening matches – 11 ties out of 32 failed to get underway – when players were taken off the Dove Mountain course.
McIlroy was amongst those who tweeted photos of himself with a backdrop more akin to Alaska than Arizona. It seemed appropriate that the world No1 had recently been skiing in the French Alps with his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki.
"It's like playing at home in January," said the Englishman Chris Wood, who was in the midst of battle with Bubba Watson. "It was cold when we teed off and then got colder. Bubba said he was going to get a ruling, which we thought was a good idea, and the referee said play had already been called off."
Stewart Williams, a PGA Tour meteorologist, says the worst of the weather has now passed. "We will warm back up on Thursday to the mid 50s," he explained.
"For every good week we have, we are going to have a bad day or two. That's just the way it is on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately we'll have below-normal temperatures for the rest of the week but at least we'll have some sun." Amen to that.
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image: © Ed McDonald