Interview With Steven Fox (Semis)


By USGA
August 18, 2012

PETE KOWALSKI:  We'd like to welcome our second finalist of the 2012 U.S. Amateur, Steven Fox, a 2‑up winner over Brandon Hagy, and I guess I didn't see much of what was doing out there, but I did see a great shot into the 18th hole.  And I guess was that indicative of the way you played, you played your approach shot on 18?

STEVEN FOX:  The shot on 18 was unreal.  I was just trying to put it on the green or find a way to make par and fortunate to make birdie.  Best shot of my life, by far.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Tell us about your overall assessment about how you played today and where you thought the match turned in your favor.

STEVEN FOX:  You know, today I played good, just like any other day.  Got some putts to fall.  My short game was good, once again, and I was just trying to ‑‑ it was all square or he was 1 up until 14, I believe.  And I won that hole to go back to all square.  That's kind of where it turned.  And then won the next hole.  And had an eight‑footer on 16 to go dormie, but wasn't the best stroke, but luckily I got it done on 18.

PETE KOWALSKI:  All right.  As per typical, just wait for the microphone to get to you.

Q.  Can you talk about just kind of you were trailing for so long, and you started to run out of holes and what you were thinking as each hole progresses and he keeps scrambling from missing fairways.  And then second, talk about the club on 18 and just what you're thinking over that shot.  Seemed like you were over that shot for a while, understandably so.

STEVEN FOX:  He didn't miss a shot really.  It was tough to make up strokes.  I had nine pars on the back nine.  So I really needed him to mess up somewhere, and unfortunately he did on 15 and 16 ‑‑ or 14 and 15.  I got lucky to win those two holes to go 1 up.

And then on 18, the shot I hit on 18, you know, I kept throwing a bunch of different numbers in my head just trying to figure out the best place to leave it.  And I just told myself, just swing it like you know how, and luckily it worked.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?

STEVEN FOX:  It was about 206.  With all the elevation and stuff, I'm not sure that's actual.  But played it about 205, 206, and 4‑iron.

Q.  He outdrove you pretty consistently.  He's obviously a huge hitter.  Did you have confidence in your short game, though, and the way you were able to see the course and maneuver the course was going to be one of the keys for you today?

STEVEN FOX:  Yeah.  I knew I wasn't going to do what he does and hit driver or 3‑wood and cut corners and stuff.  I had to play like I did in the first few rounds of Match Play, stroke play as well, hitting irons off the tees and leaving the old wedges, 8‑irons and stuff like that in.  Hit greens and give myself a putt.  I wasn't going to get into his game and start trying to do what he was doing.  I just had to be myself.

Q.  What does it say about college golf that a guy from Tennessee, Chattanooga that can make a final.  And No. 2, 63rd seed going in, only one other guy to ever win a USGA championship from that spot in the bracket.  So talk a little bit about that and playing a guy who also survived the playoff on Wednesday.

STEVEN FOX:  Yeah.  Playing for Chattanooga is awesome.  There's so many people back home backing me.  My phone's going off like crazy.  I mean it's just awesome.  Without them I wouldn't be here, especially my family as well.  They're all rooting for me.  It's an unbelievable feeling.  Just puts a smile on my face.  It's awesome.  And then what was your last question?

Q.  (Indiscernible)?

STEVEN FOX:  I mean whenever you're seeded you have a chance to win.  It's like Michael said, whether you're the No. 1 or 64, you always have a chance.  And it's awesome how we survived a playoff and got this far.  It's really unreal.

Q.  How's your familiarity with Match Play?  Have you played much?

STEVEN FOX:  This is a summer I've played a lot of Match Play events and absolutely love it.  It's an amazing format.

Q.  Steven, that match obviously was so tight the whole way.  Did you grip the club a little tight a few times or did you stay pretty calm the whole way through?

STEVEN FOX:  Yesterday I was calm as well.  I wasn't nervous.  I had the galleries.  That's what helps.  Walking through and them saying, "come on, Steven.  Let's go."  That helps and that calms your nerves down a little bit.  Towards the end I took a few deep breaths right before I hit, and that helps a lot as well.

Q.  Steven, could you just kind of assess your game, what are your strong points, and what is it going to take for you to pull it off come tomorrow?

STEVEN FOX:  My strong point definitely is short game.  My putting and chipping is one of the best things I have.  Length is probably a weakness, as you saw today.  It's nice up here in Colorado hitting is 10 percent further.  I'm seeing the ball go a little farther.  But it's definitely my weakness.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?

STEVEN FOX:  It's pretty much the same thing.  Hit fairways and greens.  You know, don't watch him as much and follow his game.  Just play myself and hit irons off the tee and hybrids and just give myself some play to hit the greens and give myself a chance for birdies.

Q.  Are you familiar with Michael at all?

STEVEN FOX:  You know, just at this event.  He told me a few times, I mean just seeing him on the range and stuff, "play well," but this is the only tournament.

Q.  Did it help after having the experience of yesterday beating the No. 1 player in the world in amateur play, just giving you confidence into today's round and maybe into tomorrow?

STEVEN FOX:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean beating the No. 1 amateur in the world definitely boosts your confidence knowing you can compete with anyone.  But you gotta take one match at a time.  It's all different.  No player is going to be the same.  So you gotta evaluate them and see how it goes.

PETE KOWALSKI:  More questions for Steven?  Anything else?  Okay.  Congratulations, Steven.  Well played.  We'll talk to you tomorrow.  Good luck.

STEVEN FOX:  Thank you.

 

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