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|Local amateur keeps on winning|
One of the area's best known and most successful amateur golfers added another trophy to his case this past weekend.
Bob Cooper, a local insurance salesman with Farm Bureau, won his fifth Monroe City Championship at Chennault Golf Course in Monroe over the weekend.
"It always feels real good to win," Cooper said. "I always enjoy playing and especially playing so much at Chennault."
Cooper put together back-to-back under-par rounds to take home the gold.
Cooper has been a local golf star for more than 30 years, including a decorated career at Northeast Louisiana University in the 1980s. He was an all-American and all-Southland Conference performer at NLU while helping win the overall conference championship.
He went on to win city championship tournaments twice in the 1980s, again in 1999. He added a third decade of gold in the city championship on Sunday.
Cooper won by seven shots over Eric Lavespere, the two-time defending city champion.
"Eric (Lavespere) had some trouble on eight ,nine, and hole 11," Cooper said. "I chipped real well and made some putts."
A ULM hall-of-fame member and one of the most accomplished golfers in ULM history, Cooper, 52, has been one of the top area golfers and most recognizable figures on the links for many years.
Cooper also won the W.E. Cotton States in 1999, which stands as one of the regions other prestigious amateur events in Ouachita Parish.
"The Cotton States is on hold this year," Cooper said. "They are doing some fine renovations at Bayou DeSiard Country Club."
Cooper shot a two-day total of 140 after his rounds on the course Sunday. It was a strong finish after Lavespere followed a solid 71 with a 76 on Sunday to fall out of the chase for the gold. Derek Hardy shot a 147 for a third-place finish at Chennault.
After a birdie on hole three on Sunday by Cooper, Lavespere came through with an eagle to get back to within two shots of the top.
Cooper used picture perfect approaches and a short putter to close out.
The future remains busy for the left-hander. He will participate in two senior events on the Louisiana Golf Association tournament schedule in August.
Lafayette will hold a qualifying tournament early in August followed by the state championship in Lake Charles later that same month.
The Lake Charles Country Club has been very kind in the past for Cooper. He won the state title in 2007 at the Lake Charles course..
One of the best supporters of the ULM golf program since his own graduation from the school, Cooper is also working hard behind the scenes of the upcoming ULM Outback Classic tournament, which will be held in July.