Steven Fox Opens The Masters With 76

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- 4/11/13 ---On his first day at The Masters, UTC senior Steven Fox - who shot 4-over 76 - felt good about his iron play and his overall swing, but disappointed with his putting.

"I hit my irons well and I felt confident out on the course, but my putting let me down," said Fox who is one of six amateurs in this year's field.

"I am off to the practice putting green and I feel I can putt better Friday and confident I can play on the weekend," Fox stated during media interviews.

Wearing a navy blue golf shirt emblazoned with the familiar UTC "Power C", the Hendersonville, Tenn. resident scrambled out of trouble to make par on No.1, bogeyed No.2, came back to even par with a birdie on No.8 and led Ian Poulter and defending Masters champion Bubba Watson at the turn.

A 10-foot par saving putt was a good start to the back nine, but then was 4-over for the final eight holes.

Bogey's at 11 and 12 and 17 and 18 put him at 4-over for the day.

Watson finished with a 3-over 75 and Poulter matched Fox's 76.

Leader in the Clubhouse: Twenty-nine-year-old Marc Leishman (Virginia Beach, Va.) is the leader in the club house at the 77th Masters as he carded a 6-under 66.

He opened with a bogey five on No.1, birdied Nos. 3 and 8 to go 1-under at the turn, before shooting a 31 on the closing 9 ...  35-31 - 66 ... He used a hot putter to string together four straight birdies on Nos.13-16.

While Leishman had a near perfect day - 7 birdies, 10 pars and 1 bogey - Fox's caddy Ben Rickett thought the UTC senior had a good ball striking day and will be ready for Friday

"Steven hit the ball well and played better than his 76 might indicate," said Rickett who is the Dalton College golf coach.

"He put the ball in the right places, but just didn't make the putts."

Friday Tee Time: Fox, Watson and Poulter tee off at 1:30 p.m.

"My mindset for tomorrow is good, the confidence is there and I am ready to go," Fox stated.

First Tee Nerves: "I was pretty calm on the practice range this morning, but the nerves did come up when I prepared for my first shot," Fox stated.

"I was in the rough with my tee shot, but I did get up and down for a par which helped."

The Six Amateurs

Tianlang Guan ...+1, 73

Steven Fox ... +4, 76

T.J. Vogel ...  +5, 77

Nathan Smth ... +5, 77

Michael Weaver ... +6, 78

Alan Dunbar ... +11, 83

Never Too Old ... 39-year-old David Lynn shot a 4-under 68 and is two back of Leishman ... Lynn is playing in he first Masters, missed the cut in three of 10 tournaments this year prior to the Masters with only one top 10 finish ... that being a tie for fourth at the Honda Classic.

Today, he was 3-under 33 at the turn and 1-under 35 on the back

Mom Controls the Tickets: “I am not able to control much else in my family, but I do control our two Masters tickets,” said Marilee Straza Thursday morning with a laugh.

The tickets have been in her family since the early 1950s and each year she decides which family members come on which days.

Marilee and husband, Jim, will be here today and Friday and one of their sons will walk among the dogwoods for the weekend.

“This is our 15th year coming to Augusta after my parents quit coming in 1998,” Marilee stated.

“My favorite memory was following Arnold Palmer the last year he played here (2004).”

Jim and Marilee’s daughter, Brittany, played four years at the U. of Florida was earned Academic All-SEC honors, was SEC runner-up as a freshman in 1999 and a semifinalist at the 1999 Women’s Public Links.

Rare Opportunity: Marilee’s dad, Jim Miller, was a comptroller for Caterpillar and before he retired had the rare privilege of playing Augusta National for a week due to the fact that the company president was a member of Augusta National.

You Know You Are in the South ... Two mini-Moon Pies are $1 at the concession stands.

Help Everywhere You Turn ... A myriad of volunteers  - always with a smile and "how are you?" - are seemingly omnipresent throughout the grounds to direct traffic, answer questions and even let you know if there are open toilets when one visits the bathrooms ...  at least it is that way in the men's restrooms . not sure about the ladies.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Randy Smith: Vols Face Cuonzo Tonight

I have always liked Cuonzo Martin.  He was always easy to work with during his three-year tenure as head coach at the University of Tennessee. When Dane Bradshaw and I substituted for Bert Bertelkamp and Bob Kesling on the Vol Network at the San Juan Puerto Rico Classic in 2012, Coach Martin sent me a nice letter thanking me for my efforts in broadcasting the Vols' games. If ... (click for more)

Dalton State Moves Up To #13 In Latest NAIA Coaches Poll

William Penn (Iowa) earns its first No. 1 position in school history in the 2017-18 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced  Tuesday  by the national office. The Statesmen stand 16-1 on the season and collected 215 points in the poll. Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000): William Penn (Iowa) posted ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Hamilton County Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Hamilton County Schools will be closed  on Thursday " due to areas of the county with too much ice still on the roads for buses to pass safely.    “The roads in many areas of the county ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kids Are Still Funny

I have never seen nor heard of a child actually getting one’s “head pinched off” but by modern-day standards the threat just switched in overdrive. There are children in our communities who haven’t been to school for six long days and the brutal temperatures drove the little darlings to inside where they most predictably stirred up all manner of mayhem. Back when I was in Elementary ... (click for more)