“It’s a dream I’ve had for the past two or three years,” said Brian Cooper of taking his bowling career to the next level and bowling the PBA Senior Tour. And, with the urging of friend and fellow Visalian, Fred Cole, the two decided they would travel together and conquer the tour. But, due to Cole’s recent health setback, Cooper took the trip alone. So he loaded up about a dozen of his bowling balls in his girlfriend’s Honda CRV and off to Florida he drove the middle of April for the start of his adventure.
And, wow, what enlightening adventure! His first round at The Villages senior tournament in Florida he shot 30 over. Not bad, but others had 200 over in that block. Second block he shot 200 over. Not bad, but it took 370 over to make the cut! Cooper adjusted and by his second week of the tour he got satisfaction by reaching seventh place on the first day; eighth place the next day and ended up fourteenth place on the third day (was defeated by Florida’s Dave Sill three games to two). In his third tour tournament, he missed cashing by just 20 pins. And, his last tour tournament, in Dayton Ohio, qualified and ended up 17th (just missing the Top 16 by a few pins). As for his first experience, Cooper said, “I’m not ecstatic. I went out there to win. But, it was a great experience!”
Cooper, known as “Super Coop” to many of his bowling buddies, has been bowling for “a good 35 years”. Recently, while he was on the PBA Senior Tour, he was inducted into the Tulare County USBC Hall of Fame on May 5. Cooper said, “I wanted to be there so bad but I was committed to bowling well (on tour).” Good friend and doubles partner, Carlie Medina III of Bakersfield, graciously accepted his award for him. Medina reflected that Cooper has been bowling now for five decades! Besides that he has won multiple State doubles titles, PCB mixed doubles titles with friend, USBC and Women’s PBA Hall of Famer Wendy McPhearson as well as winning the CUSBC State Doubles in 2011 and the Nevada State Doubles and also seven San Joaquin titles. He has (30) 300 games and (10) 800 series so far in his career. In 2007 he received the Pat Patterson Award. But besides that, Medina spoke of how much Cooper has contributed to other fellow bowlers by being their friend and helping them by sponsoring them like Jason Hurd and Medina. And, it goes beyond that, as Cooper has hosted regional tournaments over the years and now he’s participating on the PBA Senior Tour as a Senior Tour Rookie.
So what’s in the future for Super Coop? He’s headed down south this Friday to bowl in the CUSBC Open State tournament and from there heads to Sun City and Flagstaff Arizona for two regional tournaments and then to Las Vegas to bowl in the US Senior Open and Masters. Whew!
He never slows down! Added Mike Hefley, “As a friend and competitive bowler, I can say as many would Visalia’s Brian (Super) Cooper is probably one of the most competitive bowlers we have ever had the pleasure to bowl against. In fact, we had even bowled in each other’s leagues in Visalia and Bakersfield in past years making the trip weekly for up to 35 weeks in a row. Now that’s competitive and fun that will surely last a lifetime as we turn into senior bowlers and bowl senior tournaments. Cooper is already out there living the dream touring with the senior tour this year and I know all of us wish him well!”