The rising senior at Jacksonville State lost to Leigh Phillips of Starkville, Miss., 2 and 1 in her first flight match at Stonebridge Golf & Country Club. She must win her match today to avoid elimination.
Cox said she was hoping to use the experience she gained here as a springboard to the U.S. Women's Public Links Championship in Massachusetts later this month. Her goal is to make the match-play rounds there.
"This is just the second time I've ever played match play," she said. "I learned a ton.
"I talked to a lot of people about strategy and stuff, but you can't learn that until you're in the heat of the moment, so I think I gained a lot of experience today — not just experience, but confidence. I knew how (to play), but playing it gives you more confidence."
Cox never led in the match. She lost the opening hole, but won the fifth to draw even.
She was 1-down at the turn, then Phillips, a junior on the Mississippi State women's golf team, won 14 and 15 to take control. Cox won the 16th hole with a bogey before Phillips closed her out on 17 with a nice up-and-down from the bunker.
"I was very inconsistent," Cox said. "That's the frustrating part of it. I'd rather have won or lost when she played great."