Match Play: Seen and heard

2011-02-25T00:00:00Z Match Play: Seen and heard Arizona Daily Star
February 25, 2011 12:00 am

Don't speak

Joel Alley put his dog on a leash, drove him to Dove Mountain and walked right into the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

The reason? He's training a training dog.

Mucha is a 5 1/2-month-old Labrador/golden retriever studying to work for Canine Companions for Independence.

"We hope she can end up with a kid in a wheelchair," said Alley, who is fostering the dog.

It took a lot of confidence in her training to know Mucha wouldn't bark during a backswing.

"She knows the quiet command," Alley said.

Orange power

Ken Kee and friend Richard Mattiussi wore specially screen-printed black baseball caps with "BVP" on the front in orange - Oklahoma State colors, of course.

They were Bo Van Pelt's traveling fan section.

The two are friends with Van Pelt because they are all members at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

Kee and Mattiussi travel to majors and events close to Tulsa just to cheer on their friend.

Kee owes Van Pelt one.

"He introduced me to my wife," he said. "He said, 'KK, you have to meet this lady.'"

Van Pelt, an OSU grad, passed along a phone number of his friend Tammy to Kee, and he went on a blind date six years ago.

After Van Pelt lost, 3 and 2, to Matt Kuchar, Kee and Mattiussi waited for him to get cleaned up. They were meeting for beers later, and flying home to Tulsa today.

The big number

30

About 30 media members left after Wednesday's match but not because Tiger Woods lost. The Japanese media contingent left, for the most part, after Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda and Hiroyuki Fujita fell Wednesday.

Quotable

"I don't think anyone is going, 'Wow, Ben Crane is really coming through this bracket, look out. Gosh, sorry, you've got to play Ben Crane. Tough draw there.'"

Ben Crane on Ben Crane

Military tent

For all the awesome parts of the Patriots Outpost, maybe nothing tops the free Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Those were just some of the freebies given away Thursday to active, retired and reserve military members all week long. As part of the PGA's "Birdies for the Brave" program, fans can be admitted free to the tournament and to the outpost, where local companies sponsor food and non-alcoholic drinks every day.

Ernesto Rivas, a retired military member who served as an Army sergeant in Iraq until 2007, arrived early Thursday - before Outpost workers, even - and staked out a corner spot, a couple dozen yards from the 14th tee.

It was about more than the free goodies. "It's the gesture," Rivas said. "It's great."

Military members past and present - and their dependents - can download free tickets at www.birdiesforthebrave.com or show up at the main gate with a valid military ID card.

As of Thursday morning, more than 3,200 tickets had been downloaded for the week, with 700 earmarked for the busiest day, Saturday.

Med alert

We stopped by the medical tent near the eighth green Thursday afternoon to see what the most common ailments had been so far.

The answer was obvious - cactus. Saguaros, agaves and - of course - jumping cholla.

"One guy, I think, walked into an agave," said volunteer Darryl Henderson. "He looked like he walked into a saw."

It was a reflection of week's fantastic weather.

No one walked in dehydrated Thursday, Henderson said.

Patrick Finley

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