By Kelly Hunt
El Dorado Hills’ Cooper Hunt placed second in the U.S. Kids Regional Championship “Desert Shootout” in Phoenix, Ariz., this past weekend in the 10-year-old division.
He was the No. 1 player from the United States; Mexico and Germany were also represented.
Cooper shot 79 the first round during pouring rain and windy conditions. Day 2 was 75 in perfect conditions. Cooper made a great run at first-place finisher, Teddy Tetak, on the second day and nearly chipped in an eagle on the 17th hole that would have given him a 72 for the round. The aggressive shot at an elevated green with a short pin spun back off the front of the green and cost him a few strokes. Nevertheless, he finished Day 2 with the second lowest score.
Also, on March 6 at Half Moon Bay Cooper was awarded “Player of the Year” this time in the 10-year-old division for the U.S. Kids Bay Area Winter tour. He was player of the year last year in the 9-year-old division with four wins, two second places, and one third place (that he actually won but had to call a 2-stroke penalty on himself for hitting from the wrong red tee box). This is the largest U.S. Kids tour in the country.
These two accomplishments (local and international levels) will qualify him for his fifth straight bid to play in the U.S. Kids World Championships in Pinehurst, NC, this summer.
Cooper plans to do battle this year in 12- to 13-year-old division for the First Tee Tour.