Interview With Steven Fox (Quarterfinals)


By USGA
August 17, 2012

PETE KOWALSKI:  We'd like to welcome another of our semifinalists to the U.S. Amateur, Steven Fox, Hendersonville, Tennessee, a winner over Chris Williams.  Steven, I guess things are clicking for you would be an understatement.

STEVEN FOX:  I guess so.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Tell us how you beat the gentleman who happens to be the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world.

STEVEN FOX:  Yeah, I give him a lot of respect.  I knew I had to play well, had to bring out my "A" game, and luckily I did.  But we started out and I got up, 2‑up through 4, and to be 4‑up after 9 was beyond expectations.  I thought it was going to be a really close match.  I give him respect for being the No. 1 amateur.  But luckily I got it done.

Q.  What was your mindset going into the match?  You're playing the No. 1 guy, not many people know who you are.  This week you played three other guys who weren't even ranked in the top 1,000.  Was there any pressure on you to just go out and play today?

STEVEN FOX:  Right.  I mean, I was nervous the first couple matches, and for some reason this match I kind of felt at home.  I was finally playing with the galleries and enjoyed myself out there and really just had fun.

Q.  Having not seen your game before, you seemed to be getting up‑and‑down from just about everywhere today.  Is that pretty typical?

STEVEN FOX:  You know, my teammates would say the same thing.  No matter where I hit the ball, there's always a chance to get up‑and‑down, and luckily my short game prevailed today.

Q.  I'm sure getting off to the quick start that you had, you had to be thinking about things, but to get off to such a lopsided lead at one point, were you just kind of bracing at any point for, okay, something is going to happen here?  How do you maintain calm when you've got that big of a lead on a guy who you know can probably come back?

STEVEN FOX:  I knew I was capable, he could rattle off nine birdies after 9.  There was always that in my mind.  But once I was 4‑up after 9 I kind of wanted to shoot for the middle of the green and not take myself out of a hole, just keep myself in it at all times, and luckily I did.

 

Q.  Did you play in the regional up here in Erie a couple years ago?

STEVEN FOX: Yes.

Q.  I thought you did.  I don't know how much you've played at elevation, but did that maybe help going back to thinking about that?

STEVEN FOX:  I mean, that was over two years ago, but from a recent factor, I was at the Pub Links about a month ago, and that's similar, and I guess that's really what helped me.

 

Q.  I was just wondering, I know your career is young, but do you look at this as your biggest win?

STEVEN FOX:  Absolutely.  This is by far the best thing I've done in my career, by far.

Q.  As a survivor of the playoff, you're the second guy who made it to the semifinals.  It's got to be something to do with determination.  Tell us about that.

STEVEN FOX:  Absolutely.  My first goal was to get to match play, and once I did that, I knew it was anyone's game; being the 64 seed or being the No. 1 seed, everyone has the same chance, but luckily I got through just on the bubble.

Q.  Has your confidence been increasing as the matches have gone on?

STEVEN FOX:  Yeah, a little bit.  I think that would happen with anyone.  I think when you get this far your confidence has to go up.  I'm hitting the ball well, putting well and chipping well, so it's going to be good.

Q.  Refresh my memory on what the morning was like playing in the playoff, the 17 for 14.

STEVEN FOX:  I was definitely nervous on the first tee.  I mean, 10 is a tough tee shot to begin with, and I was very nervous, and as the holes went on and more people went on and some dropped out, I got a little calm, and then when it was 4 and 3 I knew just try and make par and that would hopefully do it, and it did.

Q.  How did you make par?

STEVEN FOX:  It was on 13 and missed the green short left and got up‑and‑down, made like a 10‑footer.

Q.  Did you sense at all something in Chris that you said maybe I can do this?  Did he show anything physically or outwardly?

STEVEN FOX:  Not at all.  I mean, he's a great player.  He still is today.  Just one bad day doesn't mean he's a good player at all.  He's a good guy, great player, and I was lucky to get by him.

Q.  Who is the first call to now?

STEVEN FOX:  My phone is going off as we speak.  You know, probably my mom.  I'd say I'll call her back.  I'll stay on her good side.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Steven, congratulations.  Thank you so much.

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