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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dalton State Volleyball Wins Against Brewton-Parker

The Dalton State volleyball improved to 4-9 overall and 3-5 in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a convincing straight set win over the visiting Brewton-Parker Barons at Bandy Gymnasium. The Lady Roadrunners started the evening 25-19 to start things off right. The second set was even easier at 25-10. Dalton State broke open a 5-5 tie in the third set and cruised ... (click for more)

CCS, McMinn County Tie 2-2

CCS's Olivia Hoffman scored both of the Lady Chargers goals Thursday night in their 2-2 tie at McMinn County.  Addie Henry and Kyra Duble each had an assist.  CCS improves to 10-5-1 overall.   CCS will host East Hamilton next Tuesday.   (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)