Ian Poulter (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter raced into a three up lead over Stephen Gallacher before snow suspended play at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but the Englishman still had a score to settle after being hit by a snowball.
Ryder Cup teammate Peter Hanson was the culprit, with Poulter promising revenge on a day when less than four hours of play were possible at the first of this year’s World Golf Championships in Arizona.
“I got snowballed by Hanson, yes,” said Poulter. “I'm like an elephant; I will not forget. I can't tell you what they will be, but there will definitely be something. Revenge is sweet.
“It's been a few years since I've seen snow to be honest with you.”
While Poulter was in a good position against recent Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner Gallacher, the former winner was taking nothing for granted.
“I'm in a nice position,” he added. “It's never over until it's over with match play, so it's head down and try and kick on and obviously win our match.
“It's always nice to be up in a match, and you don't like to be down. I'm in the driving seat, I'd like to get out there tomorrow morning, finish the job off and concentrate on the holes I've got to play and see what comes after that.
“Stephen is a good player, and I need to concentrate when I get out there on the golf course and try and finish the job off and see what comes around.”
At least Poulter was able to get out on the course – World Number One Rory McIlroy was still to begin his first round match against good friend Shane Lowry.
“I have never seen anything like that at a golf tournament,” said the Northern Irishman. “I’ve seen snow on the course when I was a kid, but nothing like that on any of the Tours.
“It was crazy, but at least they have called it early enough to let everyone get out of here and get warm again. We just head off now and get ready to come back and have another go tomorrow.”
Poulter’s friend and compatriot Justin Rose looked like being the first player through when he raced to a four up advantage against Korean K J Choi, but his lead was halved before the snow came.
“Obviously I would like to have had it done today, but it’s been a productive day,” he said.
“I got myself a couple up, obviously playing ten, headed to four up, easy to be disappointed, but if I look at how I lost the holes, K J won two holes.
“I've played very, very solidly out there on the front nine. You're going to win some holes and lose some holes, and happy to be two up, really.”