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.”
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