LA JOLLA, Calif. – Chattanooga senior Steven Fox had fun in the first round of the first PGA Tour tournament he’s played, appropriate given the Tennessee flavor at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday.
Fox shot a 2-under-par 70 at the North Course at Torrey Pines and is tied for 57th place. That sounds like a long way back, but former Vanderbilt star Brandt Snedeker, the first-round leader after a 65 on the North Course, isn’t that far ahead.
In keeping with the Tennessee, and Chattanooga, theme, another former Vanderbilt stalwart-and Chattanooga Baylor graduate-Luke List, shot 66 on the North Course and is tied for third.
Still another Tennessean, former Tennessee Tech star and Tour winner Scott Stallings, also shot 6 under on the North Course.
“Today was a lot of fun,” said Fox, who gained entry into this tournament last August when he won the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills near Denver. “I was nervous on the first tee, but I was good from there on. I’m ready to get back out there tomorrow.”
If he was nervous early, Fox did a good job of hiding it. He parred his first three holes, and after making a bogey at the par-4 fourth hole, he quickly regained the lost stroke with a birdie at No. 5. He also birdied the par-4 8th hole to make the turn at 1 under par.
Fox fell back to even with a bogey at No. 10 and he made another bogey at the par-4 15th, but he also made three birdies on the closing half, including on two of his last three holes. Fox birdied the par-4 16th, and also the 18th after reaching the greenside bunker of the par-5 in two. A blast out of the sand and a putt later, Fox found himself under par the first time he’s played with the big boys.