CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. --- Chattanooga Mocs senior Steven Fox's (Hendersonville, Tenn.) magical march to the Masters and United States Open at the United States Amateur is an unfinished tale. That's because that's news for 2013, and Fox is in the here and now.
"It really hasn't sunk in," Fox said. "It's unreal. But that's way in the future, tomorrow is the present."
Fox's wild ride continued with today's semifinal win over Cal's Brandon Hagy. It was a 2up win that traversed all 18 holes. His finals opponent is Michael Weaver, also from Cal, who beat 2012 Ben Hogan Award winner Justin Thomas (Alabama) 3&2.
It was a well-played match from the beginning. The two-some started par-birdie-par-par to open all square through four. Fox drew first blood with a birdie on the fifth.
The lead was short-lived as Hagy answered with a birdie of his own on six to level the score. It stayed that way until the ninth when Fox's bogey, the first of the match for either competitor, gave Hagy the 1up lead.
Pars over the next four holes kept the deficit at a hole until Hagy's bogey brought it back to all square with four to play. Fox kept the momentum going, winning the par three 15th for a 1up lead. They stayed that way through 17.
Both golfers drove the fairway on 18, with Hagy nearly 40 yards ahead of Fox's tee ball. Advantage Fox.
"I hit three wood off the tee, Brandon hit an iron," Fox added with a chuckle. "Man is he a long hitter. I had about 205 to the flag, pulled out a four-iron and just wanted to make par. It was just about the same shot I had during practice round.
"I drew it over the bunkers and it hit just short and rolled up close," Fox continued. "The cheers came as it rolled closer and closer...up to eight feet. Once again, just unreal."
He hit it to around eight feet, forcing Hagy's hand. Hagy hit the green but had a 40-foot downhill birdie putt which he ran past the hole. The hole was conceded to Fox for the 2up win.
It was a remarkably consistent performance for Fox. Neither golfer relented as birdies won three holes, pars three others with 12 holes halved, 11 with pars and one with birdies.
"We both made a lot of clutch putts," Fox added. "Whether it was a 10-footer for par or 15-footer for birdie, it was well played both ways. Brandon made a huge putt on 16 to keep the match going. Neither of us made many mistakes."
Fox and Weaver hit the course at 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time, for their 36-hole odyssey. NBC begins coverage at 4 p.m. It's an improbable final with Fox ranked No. 127 in the world, while Weaver checks in at No. 149. That's about to change.
But like the Masters and U.S. Open, amateur rankings are stories for another day.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.