published Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

UTC's Steven Fox leads pack of Chattanooga golfers with much success

  • photo
    Steven Fox celebrates with his father Alan Fox, right, after winning the U.S. Amateur golf tournament in 37 holes at Cherry Hills, Sunday in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Council Fire Golf Club members continually were checking smartphones and tablets for the latest golf scoring updates over the weekend.

They weren't just checking on University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Steven Fox, who went on to win the U.S. Amateur, but they scanned professional tours for updates on former Baylor School standouts Luke List, Harris English, Brooke Pancake and Stephan Jaeger.

The Scenic City became Golf City.

"There are a lot of communities that will have several known golfers, but it was an incredible weekend for a city of our size," said Hunt Gilliland, Council Fire's director of golf and a member of the PGA of America board of directors. "It was pretty neat. There was a lot of excitement at the club."

Fox claimed the biggest prize available to amateur golfers across the globe. He came back to win despite trailing by two strokes with two holes to play in regulation in the final match Sunday in Colorado. He won with a birdie on the 37th hole after being the 63rd man to reach the match-play field of 64.

"I saw my putt going in and then gave a Tiger [Woods] fist-pump," said Fox, who earned entry into the 2013 Masters, U.S. Open and British Open with his victory. "This is awesome. I'm ecstatic."

The four former Chattanooga prep stars had successful weekends on their professional tours.

"It's a little surprising to see it all happen in one weekend," said Golf Channel analyst Charlie Rymer, a native of Cleveland, Tenn. "But it's not surprising to see Chattanooga kids all have a good week. It's no surprise to see really good players taking advantage of the assets there."

List, a former resident of Ringgold, Ga., moved back to No. 1 on the Web.com tour money list by tying for second in the Midwest Classic in Kansas.

Pancake, a Chattanooga native who shared the lead heading into the final round, tied for sixth in the Eagle Classic on the women's Symetra Tour. In the spring she made the final putt that gave Alabama the NCAA women's championship.

Jaeger, who starred at UTC after prepping at Baylor, tied for 10th in the Terry Moore Ford Open on the NGA Hooters Tour.

English spent the weekend in contention and finished Monday in a tie for 10th in the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour.

His finish capped a historic week for golf-club swinging Scenic City.

"I think Chattanooga is a hotbed for golf," List said via cellphone. "It shows the area's passion for the game. There are a lot of guys -- and gals -- that are kicking [tail] on the pro tours, and it's cool to see."

English is set to begin the FedEx Cup playoffs later this week, and List expected home cooking Monday as he stopped in Ringgold on his way to the Knoxville Open, which begins Thursday.

"I went into the final round three off, and when you're within five or six, you think you've got a chance," List said. "I wasn't swinging well enough to really be in contention, and I had some lucky breaks including chipping in on 18.

"I'm addicted to being up there in contention."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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