The 2011 Firecracker Open will have two qualifers, the first of which is April 29th. The qualifiers were instituted in an effort to improve the pace of play in the event, which has sometimes been an issue in the past. The thingking behind the qualifiers is that better players take fewer strokes leading to faster times around the course. Since the majority of the field plays in the championship flight, the line of reasoning has some validity but we will all have to see if the results bear out this line of thought.
Some of the field will be exempt players including past champions, players finishing in the top spots in last years Firecracker Open and the City Championship. For a full list of the exempt players and the qualifying conditions, see AustinAmateurGolf.com, Entry Forms.
In preparation for the qualifier, players are playing practice rounds and getting advice from former champions such as six time winner, Billy Clagett. Listen to Billy Clagett's advice to those players who are qualifying.
Claude Wilde, Randy Petri, and Doug Nelle with three wins apiece are the closest competitors to Clagett's record six wins. With two wins apiece are Walter Benson Jr., Ben Crenshaw, Mark McEntire, Omar Uresti, Dudley Kreuger, Roane Puett, Robby Ormand, Mason Adkins, Michael Cooper, Tim Wilson and Ralph Cotton. See the complete history of Firecracker winners at Austin Amateur Golf. Here is a look at the Clagett's winning form .
One of the Firecracker Open traditions that contributes to the lore of the tournament is posting of the final scores in the hallway after the tournament is over. The scores remain there for the entire year until the next tournament so golfers and the public can review the results, look at pictures of the tournament and review their favorite players. It serves as a motivation for players to do their best when they realize those scores are there for a whole year. Watch a video of what the hallway looks like.
Good luck to all the players attempting to qualify for the 2011 Firecracker Open.