Q&A: Steven Fox, Masters qualifier
Steven Fox, the U.S. Amateur champion, made his second PGA Tour start of the year, missing the cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with rounds of 78-81. Fox, 22, a senior at Chattanooga, also missed the cut earlier this year in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. His next appearance on Tour will come at the April 11-14 Masters.
Thoughts on the week?
I was really looking forward to this week. I was hitting it well, and I got out there and made too many mistakes, too many mental errors. I need to learn how to play golf again. I struck the ball solid, putting was streaky, but I thought going into the week that I was ready to go, and I just didn’t play anywhere near where I wanted to. I didn’t drive the ball well all week. At least at Augusta National, you can hit it a little bit of everywhere.
What are your thoughts on your upcoming Masters appearance after this week’s play?
I still feel confident. I like Augusta National. I’ve played well out there (Fox estimates he has played eight practice rounds). I’m still excited to get out there. I just need to work on some mental things, I guess, and work on consistency.
How have you adjusted to PGA Tour events?
I like having the crowds. I play better when there’s crowds. That’s one of the things you have to get used to at Augusta, is the crowds. Tiger (Woods) was three or four groups behind us, so people were getting out there. I got to experience the crowds. I had no nerves whatsoever, if you want to take some positives from the week.
What are some recent changes you’ve made to your game?
I started working with (swing instructor) Brad Rose shortly after Torrey Pines. He works with Scott Stallings. I hit the ball solid, didn’t have any real wayward shots. Just driving the ball, missing it five yards out here, is (penal).
Are you optimistic?
It’s another one down. Not bad playing, just another missed cut. It happens. That’s how I look at it. I hit the ball well. It would be one thing if I was shanking it around. I hit the ball OK. It’s just all in the head. . . . It’s just bad swings at the wrong time and maybe picking one or two bad targets.