Teeing Off

 

Teeing Off

 

Date: September 6, 2012
by: Jen Blanco | Sports Editor

 
 

 

SARASOTA — Mason Fox has lofty expectations.

This season, the Riverview High junior golfer set forth toward a new career standard — one he hopes will land him a spot among the nation’s elite.

Although Fox is the first to admit that achieving all of the expectations he’s set for himself — which include winning the Florida Junior Tour, the Future Collegians World Tour and the American Junior Golf Association Tour; qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the U.S. Amateur Championship and making it to match play in both tournaments; and committing to a college before the end of his junior year — would be a miraculous feat.

“I set my goals really high this year,” Fox said. “I set them so high that they might be above (what’s really possible).”

But that doesn’t mean Fox isn’t up for the challenge. And, he’s already off to an impressive start.

Building upon last year’s success in which he tied for 28th at the Class 2A state finals as a sophomore, Fox shot a 36 against Cardinal Mooney Aug. 28 and again against Venice Aug. 30 to take top individual honors in both matches.

“I like when you’re done working hard and putting in the time and effort and being able to see the results ... seeing everything come (together) out of your hard work and people starting to notice,” Fox said.

Fox is no stranger to hard work. He started playing golf 13 years ago, after spending the day out on the course with his dad, Kevin, as a toddler. Fox quickly became hooked on the sport, spending as much time as he could on the course.

At that point, Fox knew he wanted to be a professional golfer one day. So, six years ago, he decided to sign up for his first tournament, which he ultimately won.

“I’ve always been competitive,” Fox said. “Playing professionally always has been a dream of mine — being on TV and playing golf for a living. Ever since then, I’ve been playing in tournaments as much as I can.”

Fox has advanced to the Class 2A state finals each of the past two seasons. Most recently, in June, he qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in a playoff.

“It was one of my big goals to make it to tournament play,” Fox said. “It was a lot of fun to win (in a playoff). It was really awesome. It’s fun to test yourself and see everything pay off.”

Today, Fox practices anywhere between three and eight hours a day with the hope of not only making his third consecutive appearance in the Class 2A state finals in November but, more importantly, ensuring himself that opportunity among the nation’s elite.

“It’s more than a sport,” Fox said. “It’s kind of like golfers are more respected, especially by those who are good golfers, because they know how hard it is to be a good golfer.”

Contact Jen Blanco at jblanco@yourobserver.com.

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