SEEN & HEARD

Seen and heard at Match Play

2011-02-23T00:00:00Z Seen and heard at Match Play Arizona Daily Star
February 23, 2011 12:00 am

The big number

28

Number of hours that NBC and The Golf Channel will dedicate to covering this year's tournament

Poults wearing the colors

Ian Poulter will tee off this morning wearing a navy shirt, red argyle sweater and white pants.

That color combination sound familiar?

"I'll be wearing the Arizona colors," he said.

Poulter unveiled his opening-round look Tuesday in front of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain's merchandise tent as part of the tournament's "Dress Ian" campaign.

Fans on Match Play's Facebook page spent the last month voting; the other choices, a lavender-and-gray look and a brownish ensemble didn't stand a chance.

Poulter's clothes are the product of IJP Designs, the Brit's clothing line.

All three final outfits went on sale in the merchandise tent Tuesday, but it'll cost you. The UA-inspired look costs $366, before tax.

"I love what I wear on the golf course, and I think it's pretty cool that we're able to put it up to the fans to be able to choose what outfit to wear," Poulter said.

Clark out, Holmes in

South Africa's Tim Clark withdrew from Match Play on Tuesday, allowing long-hitting alternate J.B. Holmes to sneak into the field.

Holmes will face Camilo Villegas in today's first round; the rest of the field, and matchups, will remain intact.

Both Clark and Holmes are Match Play footnotes, in part because of how they played against Tiger Woods.

Holmes is perhaps known for going 3-up on Woods when they met in 2008, only to blow it on the final four holes and lose in a playoff. Clark upset Tiger in the second round of the 2009 tournament.

Tucson rodeo for Quiros?

Turns out Alvaro Quiros is pretty handy with a golf club and a lasso.

The Spaniard filmed a segment for European Tour Weekly on Monday night just outside The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

Handed a rope, Quiros successfully lassoed a half-dozen fake - read: they weren't moving - steer.

"It was good fun," he said.

Quiros says he finds the American West, complete with its landscapes, cacti and sunsets, to be "something spectacular."

"For us, well, for me, coming from Spain, we have nothing similar," he said.

He said it

"I mean 7:25, defending champion. How many people are going to be through the gates at 7 in the morning?"

Defending champion Ian Poulter's reaction to his first-round tee time

Westwood hopes to survive, advance

The world's No. 1-ranked golfer kept a low profile through this week's two practice rounds.

That's because Lee Westwood isn't exactly what you'd consider a Match Play whiz. The Brit is 6-11 in the tournament; in 11 appearances, he has yet to advance past the second round.

"Yeah," he said dryly, "I wonder what Friday looks like in this tournament."

Westwood will count himself fortunate if he can get through today.

Toru Taniguchi's weekend withdrawal from the tournament allowed Henrik Stenson to sneak in as the No. 64 overall seed. Stenson is the 2007 Match Play champion and one of the toughest competitors in the field.

Rather than bemoan his bad luck, Westwood said he will try to enjoy his time as No. 1. Westwood said Tuesday his contracts all include a bonus for being ranked first in the world.

And, no, he wouldn't tell reporters what it was.

"Some contracts have that clause and some don't," he said. "It depends how smart a manager you've got."

Travelin' man

Henrik Stenson packed up his winter home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Friday and headed west.

For where, he wasn't sure.

The Swede had a standing invitation to the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, but was hoping to sneak into the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship field. When Taniguchi withdrew with a neck injury, Stenson jumped on a flight from Florida, where he keeps a spring home, to Tucson.

The Swedish-born Stenson said he's gotten used to the jet lag - not that he enjoys it.

"I can still feel it, but it's definitely better going west than going east," he said. "It's been reasonably well this time."

Another big(ger) number

2,316,379

Number of combined Twitter followers for Ian Poulter and Stewart Cink, who will face off in today's first round. Poulter wins the Twitter battle, boasting 88,335 more than his opponent.

Ryan Finley

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