When Mason Fox presented his scorecard to his golf coach, he looked it over and said, “I feel like I just got Tim Tebow.”
It’s Fox’s second year on the golf team at Sarasota Middle School. Twice last week, he played nine-hole matches against students at Pine View and McIntosh Middle School and shot a 33 both times.
Fox didn’t expect such a low score — he didn’t even get a chance to warm up — but he started out hitting perfectly with his first few wedge shots. After the second day’s match, Fox played the back nine for fun with his father, giving him a final score of 68 for that day. He made seven birdies and zero bogies throughout the 27 holes over two days.
“I whupped my dad,” Fox said. “He was saying he knows that his days are numbered and running out.”
Fox’s coach, John Yarwood, along with several other coaches, said that in the last 28 years, they had never heard of a middle-school student shooting a 33 — let alone a back-to-back 33. Although no golfing records are kept for middle schools, the coaches believe that Fox broke a school, county and state record.
“When I want to win, there’s a confidence I have when I’m up there,” Fox said. “I’m addicted to it.”
Fox’s love for the sport started as a baby. His parents, Tami and K.C., decorated his crib with a stuffed “birdie,” Titleist balls and golf clubs and took him to watch tournaments. Although he prefers to play with Titleist, Fox uses whatever he can get. For his 14th birthday, he received Titleist AP2 irons from his parents.
“I think every parent lives a bit vicariously through their kids, especially when they’re doing what you’ve always loved to do,” K.C. Fox said. “He’s got a real good temperament for the game.”
In addition to practicing on the range and putting green after school lets out, Fox plays nine holes with his father almost every evening at Laurel Oak. Lately, the younger Fox has taken the lead.
Fox spent the past summer playing against 16-year-olds and working hard on his game. He says he’s finally starting to notice some of the results that dedication brings and hopes to attend the University of Florida for college and go pro.
“We say around here, ‘Watch out, Tiger. The Fox is on his way,’” said Tami Fox.
• On Mason Fox’s 14th birthday, Friday, Oct. 9, golf was officially accepted into the Olympics as a sport.
• Fox shot a hole-in-one the first time he played Laurel Oak at age 12.
• Fox plans to play in the Masters someday.
• Fox often writes motivational notes containing golf-related goals and hangs them on his bedroom wall.
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