PUEBLO, Colo. – Cooper Davis is amidst perhaps the best start of his career.
And yes, that does include his 2016 World Championship season.
And yes, this comes after he seriously contemplated retirement.
In January, he suffered a torn rotator cuff, labrum and broken shoulder capsule and had to sit out for six months after two shoulder surgeries. He joined the broadcast team doing commentary for Unleash The Beast events and thought his competitive career might be over.
But the PBR Team Series lured him back in, and he went 12-for-17 as the emotional leader of the Carolina Cowboys.
“I was going to come back and only do Teams, but once you get in the swing of things, it’s hard to quit when you feel like you’re at the top,” Davis told PBR.com after the season-opening event in Tucson, Arizona. “Now I’m back to saying, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to go to three more years or five years or be like Ednei (Caminhas).’
“I think as long as I feel like I can win a world title, I will keep going. I think I’m good enough to win a world title. No disrespect to anybody, but I think there are four guys right now that are at the top of their game, and I think I’m one of them.”
So far, Davis has lived up to his words.
He’s 8-for-12 (66%) this season with a win at the St. Louis Invitational, a 10th-place finish at the Minneapolis Invitational, and a pair of sixth-place finishes.
He notched one of those sixth-place showings this weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire, at the Manchester Invitational, where he went 2-for-3. He kicked things off with 86.25 points on Moon Taxi before tying for the Round 2 win with 88 points on Don’t Come Easy.
“Look out for Davis, man,” two-time World Champion Justin McBride said on CBS Sports Network. “Look, we know the ability is there with him. And again, I just keep going back to when he wants to be here, he is tough too. When he crawls into that bucking chute, this guy is tough.”
In the championship round, though, Davis was bucked off by Mike’s Motive in 3.56 seconds.
Still, the 49.5 points he earned towards the Unleash The Beast standings allowed him to usurp Daniel Keeping for the No. 1 ranking. Keeping went 0-for-2 in Manchester to slip to No. 2.
“I think I’m further ahead than where I was at (in 2016),” Davis told Kate Harrison on CBS Sports Network. “I know how to deal with the pressure a little bit better, and I’m having fun.”
Andrew Alvidrez earned the first win of his premier series career in Manchester, going a perfect 3-for-3 to vault to the No. 3 ranking, 55 points behind No. 1 Davis.
Davis heads into the PBR Albany Invitational on Dec. 29-30 with all the momentum in the world, as hot as he’s ever been, which begs the question: where did this version of Cooper Davis come from?
Bullfighter Cody Webster believes that Davis’s injury is ultimately what helped him find his fire again.
“He has had multiple injuries and surgeries, but this last one seemed to really hit home,” Webster said on CBS Sports Network. “When you’re sitting out, and you’re going every weekend (as a commentator), and you’re seeing your buddies, that true love as a kid’s got to come back to you, and I really think that’s what’s (reinvigorated) Cooper Davis. And man, you see him riding now like he was when he was 19 years old.
“I tell you what; they’d better be careful. They’re going to be engraving Davis on the edge of that gold buckle at the end of the year if they ain’t careful.”
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo courtesy of Bull Stock Media