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

 


Notre Dame Sweeps GPS In Volleyball

Notre Dame volleyball coach Ted Hackett  wasn't real sure how well his team would play on Monday evening against non-district rival GPS, but he seemed pretty happy following the 2-0 win over the Bruisers in a match that took just over 35 minutes. The first set wasn't close as Notre Dame broke from a 13-13 tie to win by 25-13 as senior Mallory Hein recorded the last 12 service ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Time To Weigh In

After several weeks of reading and hearing about spousal abuse, child abuse and other atrocities in the sports world, it's finally time for me to weigh in. Neither spousal abuse nor child abuse should ever be considered a racial problem. It is a problem in our society; one that we have been dealing with for years. I wanted to state that fact first before going any further. The video ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s ‘Hate The SEC’ Day

The boo birds came out on the fly on the ESPN website Sunday afternoon, this moments after the latest AP College Football “Top 25” included eight teams from the Southeastern Conference.   What set naysayers aglow was Mississippi State, after upsetting LSU 34-29 Saturday night, debuted on the list at No. 14 while Clemson, playing Florida State in an overtime thriller, got tossed ... (click for more)