CHARLESTON, W.Va -- Steve Fox would never be a sitcom dad who tries to squeeze in rounds of golf between his wife's bickering sessions.
Truth be told, Fox's wife Cathy - the sister of five-time Amateur champion Harold Payne - lets him play anytime he wants.
"In 35 years of marriage she told me once not to play golf," said Fox, who will tee off in the State Amateur for the 45th time when the event unfolds Monday at the Greenbrier's Old White TPC. "She told me the one time she asked me not to play and said she'd never do that again. The way I acted she didn't want me around. She's great about (me playing golf)."
Fox, who turns 60 in September, failed only once to qualify for the State Amateur. In 2002, former champions were given lifetime exemptions into the tournament.
The Huntington resident and reigning president of the West Virginia Golf Association has two titles. In 1988, the Huntington resident beat Jim Fankhauser by two strokes, and in 1994, he topped Morgantown's Jack Forbes by two strokes. His first title was 22 years after he played in his first Amateur.
"Those probably are my two highlights of my golfing career," Fox said. "I've been fortunate enough to play in some U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Mid-Amateurs and last year in the U.S. Senior Amateur."
His first State Amateur came in 1966.
"Believe it or not I was 13 years old," Fox said. "They didn't have qualifying at the time. They had flights. My dad took me up there when I was 13. They had an award, high gross. It was the highest score in qualifying when I was 13 and I shot a 94. I won high gross."
Fox will return to the Greenbrier as long as he's capable to compete in one of the state's most prestigious golf tournaments, although he admits that the idea of winning hasn't crossed his mind much.
"It's highly unlikely and unrealistic," Fox said. "I'm playing very well, which gives me encouragement. I played in the State Open this year and guys who are college kids are driving it 50 or 60 yards farther than what I hit it. You multiple that by four rounds when you look at the par 4s and the par 5s and you're spotting them 600 yards a round. It's hard to compete against that.