MIDWAY, Utah --- Chattanooga Mocs rising senior Steven Fox (Hendersonville, Tenn.) never trailed in capturing a 2&1 win over Michigan State's Mitchell Rutledge Wednesday at the 87th United State Amateur Public Links Championship. Fox faces MTSU's Brett Patterson of McMinnville in the round of 32 Thursday at Soldier Hollow Golf Course.
Fox went up on the very first hole with a par on the 434-yard par four as Rutledge bogeyed. The Spartans incoming freshman responded with a birdie on two to square it, but a birdie on three gave Fox another one-hole lead.
Rutledge squared the match again on the par three fifth. Fox bogeyed, but his par on six won to put him back up by one. The duo halved the next two holes par-birdie before Rutledge leveled the match with a birdie on nine.
It was still knotted through 11 when Fox birdied back-to-back holes to take his first two-hole margin. Rutledge birdied 14 to get back within a hole.
Fox was up to the challenge. He birdied the long 222-yard par three 17 to clinch the win. Fox shot three-under for his 17 holes to Rutledge's minus one.
It sets up an interesting round of 32 matchup with Patterson. The two compete at schools roughly 100 miles apart, yet traveled 1700 miles to meet. Fox was the 2011 Tennessee Match Play champion, while Patterson won the event in 2010.
That match begins at 9:20 a.m. (EDT). The winner will face either Kevin Aylwin (UNF) or Scott McNeil in the afternoon. Aylwin defeated Jack Teal in 19 holes today, while McNeil overcame a two-hole deficit with two to play defeating Seth Reeves (Georgia Tech) in 20 holes.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.