I was on the putting green at Austin Country Club practicing with some friends about a week ago when Michael Cooper approached the first tee with some clients from Houston. We chatted and then they teed off, playing from the number one tees.
The next day I heard that “Coop”, as he is know around local golfing circles, had shot 29-34=63 during that round. I caught up with him on the practice tee yesterday and asked about the round.
He said that it kind of came out of nowhere because he had not been playing that much but it was just one of those days when things went right. He birdied the holes 1, 3, 5,6,7,8,9 and turned in 29, something he had never done at ACC. He bogeyed 10, then birdied 12,13 and 15.
He indicated he had missed good birdie opportunities on 16 and 17 so and felt like it could have been a shot or two better although he admitted it’s hard to complain about a 63. He hit it close on four or five holes, made a bunch of 10-15 footers and one long putt.
I watched him hit balls for a few minutes and admired the nice tight draw he was hitting. I noticed his motion was different from his normal swing and asked what was going on. He told me his right shoulder was bothering him some and it was forcing him to rotate more through the shot to put less stress on the shoulder during the follow through. It turns out that was beneficial because there was less flip in the swing and the club was more in front of him during the downswing. He laughed at it and said “I’m going to stay with this motion until it doesn’t work and then like everybody else I’ll probably be trying something else next week”.
Cooper played golf for the University of Texas and has enjoyed a productive amateur career with multiple wins locally including a couple of Men’s City Championships and a two Firecracker Open wins.
One of the admirable qualities about Coop is that he has paired with junior golfers in the Muny Spring Partnership on several occasions to mentor these players. It’s something important to him.
It’s good to see him play well.