Steven Fox, 22, of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, won the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship after surviving a 17-player playoff to reach match play and then coming from two holes down with two to play in a 37-hole final. He is sharing his thoughts on his first Masters Tournament with Thomas Bonk of Masters.com in this exclusive personal diary.
One word for today: phenomenal. Played 18 holes with T.J. Vogel, the public links champion, and it couldn’t have been any better. Awesome. I mean, just walking out on the driving range, having people behind you. The nerves weren’t bad today — maybe a little bit on the first tee, but after that it was good. I hit the fairway on the first tee and said, “All right! Just go from here.”
With the wind picking up, the greens are getting really quick now and pretty firm. Also, around the greens it’s getting really firm. So you have to start putting it off the edges instead of being able to chip it. I am not afraid of fast greens. I see the high lines all the time. It’s just like Cherry Hills, where we had the amateur, so I’m ready.
The 16th today was so much fun. The crowd was going crazy. T.J. and I hit simultaneously. We said to each other, all right, we’ll do the countdown, then we had and a bunch of other people doing it, so we turned around and said, all right, we need one countdown. They did it for us … “one, two, three, go” … and it was awesome.
The Par 3 Contest is going to be great. I’m playing with Luke Donald and Brandt Snedeker. Luke just put his name in there with us, which is awesome. I really don’t know him that well, I just said hi to him at registration.
I haven’t said hi to Tiger yet. Maybe I should have. I need to eventually. I know Tiger said hello to the 14-year-old Tianlang Guan on the driving range. Tiger likes the young players, he was young, he had all the fame, so hopefully this 14-year-old can do the same thing. He’s a really good kid.
I’m one day closer to Thursday, and I’m ready to play. I’m feeling comfortable, have a few things to work on, but other than that, I’m ready.