Match Play: Seen & heard at Dove Mountain

2013-02-22T00:00:00Z Match Play: Seen & heard at Dove MountainPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Rich Rod

Thursday's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was a little too quiet for Rich Rodriguez.

"It's funny, because you come here and I'm whispering now," the UA football coach said while standing among the throng at Hole 2, waiting for Tiger Woods. "If football coaches were on this course, they could scream and yell and throw everything at them.

"I would be more uncomfortable with the silence. I'm better when people are screaming."

Rodriguez went to The Golf Club at Dove Mountain with his 14-year-old son Rhett - "I'm a Tiger guy," Rhett said - and spent time with UA athletic director Greg Byrne.

The coach joked Byrne needs to spot him strokes when they play golf together.

"I'm a hack," Byrne countered.

Rodriguez spends time at the Westin La Paloma and Stone Canyon.

Rhett is starting to play, too.

The coach didn't play golf for the first time until college but now tries to go once a week in the summer.

Sombreros?

We spotted an unusual hat choice early during Thursday's round.

Brian Padilla, 28, and Anthony Esparza, 25, each donned cheap-looking sombreros while walking the course. They followed Spaniard Sergio Garcia, and then switched to Tiger Woods' crowd.

"I had them in my house," Esparza said. "For soccer events. They're from Mexico. I've bought them over and I wear them."

The two swore the hats - which Padilla wore over a baseball cap - served a practical purpose.

"Shade," Padilla said, "especially after the snow is gone and the sun came out."

Conquistador snowman

Left of the second fairway, near "Bucky's," the Conquistadores' party tent, sat what might have become, until it melted, the unofficial mascot of this year's tournament.

It was a snowman, complete with a face and arms, wearing a plastic Conquistadores helmet.

"It is weird," Scottsdale's Sandi Lampella said, "because it's Arizona, and it's a golf tournament."

Gerry Altman, with Lampella, joked that "you can see that he's melting" in the afternoon sun.

Still, the snowman stayed intact late into the day.

"We fed him golf balls," Lampella said.

Quotable

"Take a picture with the snowman!"

A fan at "Bucky's," screaming to Woods

Masters

Bubba Watson can't wait for the Masters.

"Very excited," the defending champion said. "To be there and hopefully have my son walk the Par-3 (tournament) … It'll be a blast."

More important: what's he serving as host of the Champions Dinner?

"Some southern cooking," he said.

Price check

We popped into the Match Play souvenir tent late Thursday, just as an employee was cheering Puma poster boy Rickie Fowler.

"C'mon Rickie," she cheered. "We gotta sell some hats."

We checked out the gift shop for you. Here's a look at the prices of some of the popular items:

• Nike golf shirt: $68-$73

• Oxford golf shirt: $57-$74

• Cutter & Buck golf shirt: $50-65

• Adidas golf shirt: $47-$67

• Tournament logo cap: $26

• Tournament logo visor: $23

• T-shirts: $25-$32

Revenge?

After saying he was 50-50 to play Wednesday because of a sore back, Peter Hanson spent the evening doctoring his bed.

"Almost slept on the floor," he said.

He wound up putting wood boards underneath the mattress, and took the top mattress off.

"Made it really firm," he said.

After beating Thomas Bjorn, Hanson eyes comeuppance today.

In September, Watson and Webb Simpson torched him and Paul Lawrie after they birdied 10 of their first 14 holes and won, 5 and 4.

Hanson gets Simpson today.

"I don't know what a good word would be, but we got stiffed," Hanson said.

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