Cookson wins Senior Amateur Championship

Courtesy photo

CODY – Pinedale golfer Chris Cookson won the Wyoming State Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship at Olive Glen Golf Course in Cody on Sept. 11-12.

Cookson beat Scott Arne of Cody by three strokes. In 2020, Cookson missed the top honor, placing second behind Arne at the championships in Buffalo, Wyo.

“Second place didn’t sit too well with me, so I put it on the calendar to win this year,” Cookson said.

Hitting in a 71 and 75, Cookson’s overall score of 146 was two over par after two rounds.

The weather cooperated in Cody, with sunny skies and low humidity creating “firm and fast” conditions on the greens, a “nice challenge” for Cookson.

Cookson played against top golfers from around the state.

“The competition was pretty intense,” he said. “Everyone wants to play well and is pretty serious out there.”

Cookson and his wife Mari Bochanis divide their time between Pinedale and Henderson, Nev., allowing Cookson to practice his game year round.

Cookson works with swing coaches Tony Lawson and Mike Davis in Henderson.

The coaches provide a “second pair of eyes if I’m not seeing something on the screen,” Cookson said.

Cookson aimed for the championship the moment play ended at the 2020 Senior Amateurs in Buffalo. He proved his mettle at the 2021 WSGA Amateur Championships in Laramie, battling college students on the greens and the region’s infamous wind to place ninth.

Cookson started playing golf when he was 9 years old. Excelling at the sport in junior and high school, Cookson earned a full-ride scholarship to golf for the University of Southern Mississippi, becoming a team captain.

After graduation, Cookson played professionally on the PGA European and Asian tours for five years.

Cookson is also a golf rules official for tournaments televised by NBC. He is a competitive runner when not golfing and plans to race in the Pinedale Half Marathon this weekend.

Cookson thanked his wife, Mari, for her encouragement to “get back to competing” and supporting “whatever I want to do with golf.”

Cookson frequently lands the ball into Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course’s nine holes, though he has yet to hit one of the moose frequenting the seventh and eighth greens.