Alex Levy shot 64 in the first round of the Firecracker Open to grab a one shot lead over Michael Cooper. After shooting two under on the front nine, Levy made an eagle on 10, birdied 12 and 13, bogeyed 16 then closed with birdies on 17 and 18.
A graduate of Austin High, Levy now plays for Rice University. He received his first letter this year and made the honor role. View his player profile at this link.
Michael Cooper a two time winner of the Firecracker, is shown below with his dad in the background. They shared a nice round of golf on a warm summer day.
Cooper started his round with birdies on holes one and two then bogeyed three, birdied four, seven, eight and nine to shoot five under on the front nine. He bogeyed 16 and closed with birdies on 17 and 18. It could have been a really low round if he had taken advantage holes 10-14, which are relatively easy birdie opportunities. But, that is the nature of Muny, you always feel like you left something out there.
Robert Evans and Riley Phumprey both shot five under par 66. Evans has been a consistent performer in the Austin golf scene over the last few years. Phumprey, who played for the University of Oklahoma, teamed with Brian Noonan earlier this year to become Co-Champions of the Muny Spring Partnership.
Six players shot 67 including; Joe Beck III – who also plays for Rice University, Chris Benestante, Brian Noonan, Ben Carter, Logan Boatner and Eric Henson. Henson is shown here with his wife enjoying the post round conversation around the scoreboard.
In total, 30 players shot under par in the first round. The course was softened by a late afternoon shower on Thursday and greens were receptive to incoming shots.
Compliments to the City of Austin for running an efficient tournament. Three years ago, decisions were made to address the problem of slow play in the Firecracker. Rounds were taking five to six hours and players were complaining.
As a result, the field size was reduced and a qualifying requirement instituted. Those changes in conjunction with grouping players in threesome at ten minute intervals have resulted in four hour rounds. Players are enjoying the tournament more and it is attracting a very strong field.
Second round play begins early Saturday and the tournament will reach it’s conclusion on Sunday. Their will be a 36 hole cut. Spectators are welcome and appreciated.