By his own admission, Jordan Cox never reached his potential at Stanford University. Heralded as one of the top juniors in the country, he struggled to make the traveling team.
This despite being runner-up in the 2003 USGA Junior Amateur; winning the 2004 British Junior Open in Scotland; earning medalist at the 2005 Rolex Tournament of Champions and California Amateur; and being a first-team AJGA All-American.
Maybe he's a late bloomer.
Just before graduating with a degree in Communications last summer, Cox and his Cardinal teammates traveled to the Monterey Peninsula to play famed Cypress Point Club. It proved a memorable trip.
Cox fired a course-record tying 9-under-par 63 at Cypress Point, matching the mark set by long-time head professional Jim Langley. He carded seven birdies and holed out a sand wedge for eagle at the par-4 17th hole.
"It was kind of a surprise to everybody," the 22-year-old Cox said of his bogey-free round.
Cox played with David Chung, recent runner-up in the U.S. Amateur; Andrew Yun; and Graham Brockington. And while the 63 equaled his career best, it could have been better.
The long-hitting Cox missed a three-foot birdie putt at the par-5 second hole; reached the par-5 fifth in two and three-putted for a par from 30 feet; missed a four-foot birdie putt at the par-4 eighth; failed to birdie the short, par-5 10th; and left a 20-foot uphill birdie putt inches short at the par-4 18th.
"I left probably four birdies out there," said Cox. "Shoulda, coulda, woulda."
This week, Cox is playing in Nebraska in a pre-qualifier for the PGA Tour Qualifying School. A pro career remains his goal.
"That will dictate what I do next year," he said. "I don't exactly have any status."
That's not exactly true. During his junior year at Stanford, Cox qualified for the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Cardinal alum Tiger Woods asked him to join him for two practice rounds with Bubba Watson.
What did he learn?
"Tiger definitely knows he's the best player in the world," said Cox. "He believes in himself. You can feel his aura. Or maybe it was just a college student being in awe."
-- *Mark Soltau