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.
I played nine holes today with Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson and Alan Dunbar, and we had a great time. Graeme and Henrik taught me a little bit about the golf course. Graeme is a good guy. He’s funny. He’s outgoing, having fun with the crowd. Henrik is huge, absolutely massive, and kills the ball. Overall, it was a fun day. We had a little match. We didn’t do amateurs-pros—we thought about it, but it was me and Henrik versus Alan and Graeme. We halved, so that wasn’t bad. No money exchanged hands!
I finally started driving the ball well. I didn’t miss a fairway ... no, I missed No. 1, but not too badly—it was decent and I wasn’t mad. So the driving is getting better, which I needed. I was what, one under? So I’m excited.
I don’t want this week to end. I want these days to go by as slow as possible. I wish I could have played the back today, but I was running a little short on time.
Hopefully I’ll be playing in more Masters. I’m just trying to take it all in. Ben, my caddie, told me, “You know, next time you come here in the next few years you could be on the other side of the ropes.” That would feel really weird, but hopefully that’s not the case and I get to play here many years.
I’m moving into the Crow’s Nest for Wednesday night and moving out of the house where my family and friends are staying. It’s been nice relaxation there. I got back from the Amateur dinner last night and everybody was watching the Final Four championship game. I watched a little bit, but my phone was blowing off the hook, so I just left it in the room and kind of avoided it for awhile.
The Par 3 Contest is Wednesday and then it’s the real thing on Thursday. I’m really looking forward to my pairing with Bubba and Ian Poulter—that’s going to be a blast. I’ll be ready.