Austin Area Golf Titles
1965 – Austin Country Club Labor Day Championship (Harvey Penick Invitational)
1978 – Harvey Penick Invitational
Year Unknown – Austin Aqua Festival Champion
Rox Covert has been a bit of an athletic chameleon throughout his life. Though his name is most recently recognized for his association with the car dealerships the Covert family has been building since 1909, Rox spent his earlier years playing high school football, college baseball and football, and amateur golf, the last of which he continues to do today.
Covert attended Austin High School, where he played quarterback on a competitive football squad his junior year. He was also a member of the Maroons baseball team, and was named to the 1959 District 13-4A First Team his senior year for his season-long performance at third base. That same year, Covert achieved three hits in a single game (an Austin High school record), and tied for the Conference 5A record of two homeruns in the same game. A record that still stands today.
The Austin High School Baseball team went to the state baseball tournament in 1957, '58 and '59, and won the state baseball championship title in 1958. Teammates of Covert included Mike Cotton, David Nunez, Milam Johnson, Raymond Culp and Dean Greenwood. Culp pitched in the major leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox.
Covert graduated in 1959, after which he attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. As an infielder and converted pitcher for the Frogs baseball team, Rox was a member of the 1963 team that tied the University of Texas for the Southwest Conference title. Covert provided his offensive power to the Horned Frogs from 1962-1964, and contributed game-changing hits and homeruns throughout his career in purple and white.
He also played defensive end for TCU and has been an all round athele for his entire life, later devoting himself to running for fitness.
In 1965, Covert won his first of two Harvey Penick Invitationals, then called the Labor Day Golf Tournament. Rox fought his way past “possibly the three top golfers at Austin Country Club” in Roane Puett, George McCall, and Bill Penn, according to Austin American staff writer Bill Little. Covert entered the final round 1 over par, and strong play on the middle holes, including birdies on holes 9 and 10, allowed him to finish 71-70-71 on a rainy day at ACC. Almost tying Covert was Puett, with 71-69-73 at the end of the tournament.
Rox Covert competed in the Texas State Amateur Tournament in 1966, a tournament held annually since 1941 at the Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio. The following year, postman Arthur Shaw defeated Covert in the quarterfinals of the Fourth of July golf tournament at Austin Municipal Course. This tournament is more commonly known today as the Firecracker Open.
Covert reached the semi-finals in the 1970 Corpus Christi Country Club Invitational, where he lost to San Antonio golfer Kurt Cox. After knocking off tournament favorites Curtis Person and Ham Rogers (Covert’s brother-in-law), he battled from behind to tie Cox at hole 13 with a challenging putt. However, Cox then birdied and eagled on 14 and 15 to seal the victory and advance to the finals.
The second of Covert’s Harvey Penick Invitational wins came in 1978 when he was the co-champion with Roane Puett.
Rox has continued to play amateur golf around the state, participating the numerous Texas Golf Association events. In 2009, he played at the Club at Comanche Trace in Kerrville, in the state senior amateur tournament. He participated in the Temple Cup at Crown Colony Country Club in Lufkin in 2010, and most recently competed in the 2011 Tower Invitational at the Miramont Country Club in Bryan.
Rox has been active in Texas Golf for several decades, serving on various tournament committees for prominent tournaments such as the Temple Cup and the Tower Invitational at Miramont along with assisting tournament director Rod Harris with the Harvey Penick Invitational. Rox is a founding member of the University of Texas Golf Club.
In addition to his suport of the golfing community both locally and in Texas, Rox has served on numerous Board of Directors including St. David's Health Care, the North Austin Medical Center, the Central Texas Boy Scouts, The Council for General Motors, The National Chevrolet Dealers Council, and the University of Texas Neighborhood Council.
Rox, along with his brothers Duke and Danay, are the fourth generation of Coverts to own and operate one of the oldest networks of car dealerships in the United States. Began in 1909 by Frank Covert, Sr., the company has expanded to five dealerships in the Austin area today. He and most of the Covert family have been and continue to be actively involved in golf in Austin and are truly contributors to the growth and nurturing of the game of golf.