Sign right here, please: Teen autograph hound has it down

Matthew Fehr gets Mike Modano’s autograph on Friday at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Isaiah Burrows / Tahoe Onstage

Matthew Fehr has transformed into a celebrity of sorts at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, but he blends in with the rest of the crowd.

Fehr, 13, has collected more than 500 autographs from the game’s biggest stars at the American Century Championship. Whether it’s a ball, a photo or a piece of paper, Fehr is experienced at getting the signatures that thousands of fans desire.

“I think it’s a fun hobby to do,” he said. “Not many people I know do it, so I think it’s kind of cool.”

On Friday, Fehr grabbed 15 autographs from a slew of Day 1 tournament contestants. His list includes Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Hall of Fame NHL forward Mike Modanao and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“Just seeing all these guys is super cool,” he said. “It’s cool to see guys like Steph, Charles Barkley and Mark Mulder up close. It’s something that I’ve been able to do here.”

From the Bay Area, Matthew and his father Tom Fehr have made their fifth-straight appearance at Tahoe celebrity golf. As Matthew’s autograph collection grew, it became a father-son tradition.

“We decided to come up because I knew he loved autographs,” Tom Fehr said. “We’ve made it an annual tradition to come back ever since.”

Fehr has developed quite the route around the golf course. He looks at the pairings and sorts out what particular celebrity is playing. From there, he bounces from hole-to-hole in order to obtain the autograph he desires.

Once he gets up close, Fehr remembers to be respectful and use his manners

“My plan is simply not to yell at them,” he said. “Guys don’t like being yelled at. Please and thank you go a long way, too.”

Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Fehr does receive the cold shoulder from time to time, but that doesn’t stop him in his pursuit of scoring autographs from the 93 participants in this year’s tournament.

“That probably says a lot about them,” he said. “If they can’t stop for 5 seconds to sign an autograph then that’s just the way it is.”

Lake Tahoe isn’t the only stop on the map for Matthew and Tom Fehr. They travel to different sports venues around California — including Pebble Beach and Oracle Park –  to catch a game and potentially secure a signature.

Among the hundreds of memorabilia items he’s acquired throughout the years, two pieces stand out — autographs from Tiger Woods and high-flyer Vince Carter.

“Both of those guys were great,” he said. “Just seeing Tiger in person — let alone getting his autograph — was just awesome. I grew up watching Vince do all the cool dunks so I think it’s really cool to have him sign a couple things for me.”

Fehr may not be as recognizable compared to the celebrities on the links, but he’s one of the first in line to get a signature and add to his collection.

 — Isaiah Burrows

Matthew Fehr with his father, Tom, on the hunt at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Isaiah Burrows / Tahoe Onstage

The wrong way: An autograph seeker surprises Steph Curry after she went passed the ropes and outran security personnel on the 17th Tee. Curry was shooting baskets at a portable hoop. The woman was not arrested, but she did not get an autograph.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

American Century Championship co-favorite Tony Romo signs autographs Wednesday at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage photographs

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage photographs

Braves fans from Boise, Idaho, Dawson and father Tim Worley are on the lookout for John Smoltz. Earlier they saw Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.

Some fans just want a hug. AJ Hawk in in the middle, Jordy Nelson is left.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

The largest gallery on opening day was for Curry, Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Cereal autograph seeker watches for Doug Flutie.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Here they come: Fans are on the move at Edgewood Tahoe.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Another way to interact with celebrities is to engage them in a game of catch. Aaron Rodgers, right, took for a receiver other than Jordy Nelson, left.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

A fan leaps for Rodgers’ pass.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Missed it by that much.

About Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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