U.S. Amateur champ Fox wins Tenn. amateur title

Steven Fox after his 2013 Tennessee State Amateur victory at Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

Steven Fox after his 2013 Tennessee State Amateur victory at Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

Playing a game of catch-me-if-you-can, Steven Fox, the reigning U.S. Amateur Champion, outran the field to win the 98th Tennessee State Amateur Championship at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

This win gives Fox a Tennessee trifecta after winning the 2008 Tennessee Junior Amateur and the 2011 Tennessee Match Play.

"It's awesome to now have three Tennessee Golf Association victories," Fox said. "It's just pretty cool to be known here in Tennessee and know that I will be known as a Tennessee State Amateur Champion as well."

Fox's 10-under-par total of 270, which included consistent rounds of 68-67-68-67, gave him a five-stroke victory over his closest competitors: two-time state amateur champion Tim Jackson and Keith Mitchell. Those two tied for second with a 5-under total of 275.

Fox took a one-shot lead into the final day but had a slow start, making two bogeys on his first three holes.

"I just had a complete mental error on No. 2 which I got pretty upset at myself about," said Fox. "Then on hole three, I just made a bad putt."

On the back nine, Fox finally got the birdie machine working. The former high school All-American from Hendersonville, Tenn., carded three birdies after the turn, including back-to-back at Nos. 16-17 to secure the win.

"I don't like the front nine at all," Fox said, "but played well on the back nine. I was 2 over on the front for the week and 12 under on the back."

"It's great to win this championship," Fox said when asked about the victory. "But, the emotion of winning is the same whether it's this tournament, the U.S. Amateur or any other event."

Fox who will travel to Brookline, Mass., on Saturday to start his defense of the U.S. Amateur title went on to say: "This past year has been crazy, it has taught me perseverance and I wouldn't change a thing."

Following his defense of the U.S. Amateur title, Fox said he plans to turn professional. First he took to social media, via his Twitter account @StevenFox4" "Back in the winners circle again!! #tennesseeamateur #tga #bostonherewecome instagram.com/p/czkFgkiB6F/"

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