Fox stages comeback to win US Amateur
BY Bruce Young | US Mens Amateur Tour | 2012 US Amateur Championship | Wrap | 20 Aug 2012
21 year old University of Tennessee golfer, Steve Fox, is the winner of the US Amateur Championship after staging a magnificent comeback in his match against Californian Michael Weaver.
On two occasions during the course of their 36 hole final today at the Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver in Colorado, Fox fell three holes behind but he kept snapping at the heels of Weaver until an explosive finish by Fox saw him play the final four holes in three under to square the match at the 36th hole. He then went on to win it at the first extra hole.
“I don’t even know right now”, said Fox when asked how he felt about being the US Amateur Champion. “This is unreal. I mean it doesn’t even feel real. The whole week is like a dream to me. I really can’t express it in words.”
“You know, I’m always fighting. I’ll never be one to give up. Things can click at any moment. You can find your swing wherever or find your stroke throughout a round, and I just wanted to keep going, keep talking to my caddie. We were having fun, and things eventually clicked.”
Fox changed his caddie halfway through the match utilising the services of his assistant college coach rather than his Dad who had caddied for him during the morning round.
“My dad is 53 years old, and I’m sure he’s tired. This is not an easy course to walk, and going 36 would have been tough. But Ben’s walked with me a lot during college. We get along. You could watch, we were smiling the whole day, laughing, making jokes and enjoying the crowd. It was awesome.
“And the reason I changed is the morning round I made a few mistakes and would just fire and not pick a target. And with Ben as my caddie, we did talk about every shot, and Ben was perfect for the job.”
Fox won the opening two holes in the morning round but three holes later Weaver had the match back to all square. On two occasions Weaver moved three holes clear but Fox kept fighting back and when Fox birdied the 33rd hole there was just one hole in it.
Weaver then birdied the 34th hole to move two clear with two to play. Fox though kept his hopes alive with a birdie to Weaver’s par at the par five 35th hole and they headed the tee at the final hole of regulation play.
A par was good enough for Fox to win the hole after Weaver three putted, the second and winning putt lipping out, and force the match into extra time before he was able to birdie the first extra hole from 22 feet and win the greatest prize in amateur golf.
The scoring was not particularly hot over the 36 holes but in an event such as this it matters little. The greatest title in amateur golf along with a start at the Open Championship were at stake.
Starts at the Masters and the US Open were already guaranteed by just making it to the final but along with those ’perks’ goes the recognition that being the US Amateur Champion provides when and if a player turns professional.
Interestingly both players tied for 51st in the stroke play phase of the event on Monday and Tuesday and were involved in an extended playoff to earn their place in the field.