UTC's Steven Fox Wins U.S. Amateur in Dramatic Fashion

Birdies 37th hole for Comeback Win

Sunday, August 19, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- UTC senior golfer Steven Fox won the last two holes in regulation in the 36-hole championship final and then rolled in an18-foot birdie putt on the 37th hole to win the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship here Sunday at the Cherry Hills Country Club.

Seeded 63rd in a field of 64, Fox defeated No. 60 seed Michael Weaver, 1-up for the title.

Fox rallied from 3-down to Weaver of Cal-Berkeley after 22 holes and was then  2-down with two holes to play.

Wearing a UTC navy blue golf shirt with the "Power C" on the front, the Hendersonville, Tenn. resident won the 35th hole with a birdie, followed by a winning par at the 36th hole to force a playoff.

Weaver had a four-foot par putt to win the national championship on the 36th hole, but the ball rimmed out to give Fox new life.

On the 37th hole (No.1), Fox was on in two on the par four, while Weaver was on in three. Fox then rolled in the down hill putt for the win.

"This is certainly great for our program," stated UTC head coach Mark Guhne. "But we are all way more excited for Steven. He has worked so hard throughout his career and it is such a great feeling to see it all come to fruition."

Ironically, Weaver was 2-down with two holes to play in his round of 16 match with Albin Choi (Canada) and won the match on the 19th hole.

Fox, who defeated Weaver's Cal-Berkeley teammate Brandon Hagy, 2-up in the semifinals, becomes the highest seed to win the U.S. Amateur since the United States Golf Association began the seeding process in 1985.

Fox Had Early Lead: Fox led 2-up after two holes, but Weaver fought back and took hs first lead on the seventh hole. He did not relinquish the lead until Fox's birdie putt on the 37th hole.

Fox was 1-down after 33 holes (No.15), winning the hole wih a birdie, but Weaver birdied the par-4 16th (34 hole) to move back to 2-up with two to go. Fox won the next three holes to claim the national championship.

Beating the World's No.1: In the quarterfinals, Fox, rnaked 127th in the world, defeated Chris Williams U. of Washington), the world's top-ranked amateur, 4-and-2 ... In the semis, Weaver edged Justin Thomas, the world's No.5 player, 3-and-2. 

The UTC senior and two-time high school All-American at Hendersonville High School, joins a prestigious list of golfers to win the U.S. Amateur, including Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959, 1961), Phil Mickelson (1990) and Tiger Woods (1994-95-96).

Three Majors: The win earns Fox a berth in the 2013 British Open ... Semifinal wins by Fox and Weaver earned them exemptions into the 2013 U.S. Open provided they keep their amateur status and a possible invitation to the 2013 Masters..

Cherry Hills Comebacks: At the 1960 U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer was seven strokes behind leader Mike Souchak, but shot a closing round 65 to win by two over runner-up and amateur Jack Nicklaus.

Fox trailed by as many as three shots on Sunday before his rally.

First National Champion: Tennessee at Chattanooga's first individual national champion was George Dickinson who won the 1966 NCAA small college singles tennis crown played at the Univ. of the South ... A native of Lookout Mountain, Dickinson graduated from City High School (1961) and played for Ga. Tech before transferring to the U. of Chattanooga. 

UTC Wrestling National Champions: Randy Batten (1975-760-77), Turner Jackson (1975-76) and David Weeks (1976) all won NCAA D-II national titles under coach Jim Morgan.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 


Lookouts Rally, Then Falter In Ninth Falling To BayBears Thursday, 6-5

Chattanooga rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at five in the top of the eighth inning, but ultimately lost the game, 6-5, on a ninth inning walk-off home run from Ronnie Freeman. Freeman was a Lookouts killer all night, he was 2-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs. Starter David Hurlbut pitched three effective innings for Chattanooga before giving up ... (click for more)

East Ridge Soccer Wins 3-0 Over Sweetwater

Coy Vandergriff, Hunter Schobert and Alejandro Vicente scored goals for the East Ridge boys soccer team Thursday night in their 3-0 win over Sweetwater.  The Pioneers end the regular season with a 10-2 record.  East Ridge will host a district semifinal game against the winner of Howard and Central next Tuesday at 7 p.m.   Rijad Kazic, Hunter Schobert and Alejandro ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)