Match Play: Seen & heard at Dove Mountain

2013-02-24T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:56:28Z Match Play: Seen & heard at Dove MountainPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Just a fan

Shane Lowry couldn't remember the last time he followed a golf tournament from the gallery.

But, among the fans and without any special security, Lowry hung out with fans while watching Graeme McDowell play Jason Day in the afternoon quarterfinals of the the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Saturday.

"My flight's not 'til 12 tonight," Lowry told us from the gallery of Hole 12. "There's no point sitting around in my room."

What makes Lowry's walk of The Golf Club at Dove Mountain amazing? McDowell defeated him in Round of 16 earlier Saturday, 3 and 2.

Lowry said he and McDowell, from Northern Ireland, are "good friends."

"Definitely rooting for Graeme," he said. "He played better than me today. He holed more putts. He deserved to win. I don't hold any grudges."

Lowry was the first No. 64 seed to ever win two matches in Match Play.

"I like the tournament," Lowry said. "I like the place. I'm looking forward to coming back here next year."

Bubba love

Kristen Simpson came to Match Play a bit too late.

She walked up to The Golf Club at Dove Mountain wearing an "I Heart Bubba" T-shirt, about an hour after left-hander Bubba Watson was eliminated by Jason Day, 4 and 3.

"Her and her friend are in love with him," said her husband Chad.

Simpson bought the T-shirt at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant in Hawaii.

She had to find a new favorite on the fly. Her second-favorite golfer is Adam Scott, who lost in Round 1.

"So, probably Ian Poulter," she said.

The Tucson residents said they'll come back next year - "but on a Wednesday," Chad said - to see Watson.

Nap time

Day had what sounded like a pretty enjoyable break between matches.

He took a 10-minute nap on one of the massage tables in the locker room.

"I just wanted to try and rest my mind a little bit, and not think about the round that was coming up," he said.

He said that "for some reason" he knew his match against Graeme McDowell was going to go to the 18th hole. And it did, with the Aussie winning 1-up.

"It was very stressful out there," he said. "I feel like my mind is going every which way right now."

Outfit of the day

We might as well just name the award after Poulter, who owns his own company, IJP Design, and is known for the nattiness of his course attire.

Friday, he wore red shoes to with purple pants and a matching sweater. Saturday, the Brit kept it far simple, wearing a black visor, shirt and sweater. His pants, though, were more overstated - they were plaid, with blue, white and black checks.

Quotable

"You can't compare it. It's very difficult. In Ryder Cup, you've got 40,000, 50,000 fans, and here you haven't quite got that many fans. So you can't - you're not feeding off the crowd. You're just trying to do it yourself. You can't get as much adrenaline going as you can in the Ryder Cup."

Ian Poulter, comparing the Ryder Cup to Match Play

The big number

2010

The last time higher-seeded players hadn't swept the quarterfinals, until Saturday. Two lower seeds - Jason Day and Hunter Mahan - advanced to the Round of Four. In 2011 and 2012, the higher seeds held a perfect record.

Another quotable

"I do enjoy the mano-a-mano of match play and the idiosyncrasies that different players have."

Graeme McDowell, after beating Shane Lowry, 3 and 2.

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