Hastings native Max Fox recently won the 26th Twin Cities Championship golf tournament at his home course of Dakota Pine Golf Club. Fox stayed within striking distance by posting a strong outing in the first round at Baker National Golf Club. Going into the final nine holes at Dakota Pines, he trailed by a handful of strokes but was able to make the comeback and pull out the win.
A series of completely unrelated circumstances came together to make Fox's victory memorable.
First, Fox suffered a broken wrist back in December playing hockey, had to have surgery with a screw inserted and was not sure what it would mean for his golf game.
"I was in a cast for a couple months and didn't know what golf would look like this year," Fox said. "I just need to wear some tape around my wrist and it takes longer to get it warmed up. There's a screw in my wrist and they removed part of the bone in there. It was weird coming back in the springtime, I was a little tentative thinking if this screw would hold up or if it would hurt when I'm playing, because some days it really hurts. It was more of a mental thing, hoping that everything holds up and performs how you want to at that point."
Second, Fox said it had been a while since he had last won a tournament after being a standout golfer at Hastings High School.
"That was my first win in a while," he explained. "It felt really good to get back in the win column. I think the last big tournament I won was the Dakota Invitational back in my senior year of high school. Winning at home, at my home course that I grew up playing my whole life, makes it even better."
The familiarity of the final round being held at his home course was another fortuitous circumstance.
"The advantage for me was that I know the course, where to hit it and where to miss it," Fox said. "I knew what holes to hit driver and what holes to lay back on and hit iron or three wood off the tee to keep myself in those good places. It was a comfort level too, I knew that I had made 10 birdies in a round out there before. I knew at any point I could turn it around and that is kind of what happened, after the sixth hole I could make some birdies and pars coming in and get the job done."
Lastly, Fox said it was made even more special by having his dad, Jeff Fox, caddying for him and his family and girlfriend in attendance.
"That was huge," he said about having his family there. "It was a really cool feeling. I had him (his dad) there, had my mom (Jane Kiester) there, my girlfriend (Nikki Beskau) was watching. To get the win at my home course with my parents there and my girlfriend, it felt good. It was really cool for them to see me get the win because they know how much time and effort I've put into golf the last 25 years."
Fox said that having his dad caddy for him helped him maintain his confidence and the right mindset.
"He knew I knew what I was doing and didn't need to help me with club selection or any of that kind of stuff," Fox said.
Fox said that he hopes to carry the momentum from his win into the next few tournaments. He tries to play 10-15 tournaments throughout the spring, summer and fall, and says he has five or six left.