Golf

UNC prof's coaching helped Stewart focus for U.S. Open win

Posted June 10, 2014
Updated June 11, 2014

— University of North Carolina Educational Psychology Professor Dr. Richard Coop has spent decades working as a consultant to athletes in the area of Mental Skills Training and Performance Enhancement.

In golf, he has helped Corey Pavin, Ben Crenshaw and Payne Stewart. Coop was right there with Stewart during the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

"One of the things we did, I had him write on his scorecard OTE, OTE, OTE, OTE. Four OTE's. What that stood for was opportunity to excel," said Coop. "When you hit a ball under a tree, that's an opportunity to excel rather than the worst break you have ever gotten in your golfing career."

With unwavering confidence and laser-ike focus, Stewart came to the 16th hole on the final day, tied for the lead with Phil Mickelson.

"Everybody remembers the highlights of one shining moment of the 18th hole, but if he hadn't pulled the shot off at 16 it wouldn't have made that much difference," said Coop.

Stewart had too much steam on his third shot at 16, blowing it 25 feet past the hole. That left a near-impossible putt for par.

"He never came close to making it in the practice rounds," said Coop.

It was one of those OTE moments, an opportunity to excel.

"What I thought was so impressive about it was when he made it, he didn't jump around, he didn't throw his cap in the air. He just matter-of-factly went," said Coop, "and we had worked on that. Don't lose your focus just because you made a great shot. Don't lose your concentration just because you made a bad shot."

"To be so organized and focused at a time when it was most necessary was probably one of my highlights of working with him."

Calm became chaos after Stewart dropped the final putt to win the Open. Late that night, Dr. Coop walked into Stewart's room as he prepared for an event the next day.

"Payne was ironing his knickers and his golf shirt. I said 'What are you doing?'" Coop recalled.

"He said, 'I have to be professional. I'm the U.S. Open champion,'" Coop said.

2 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • 903 Born 2 B Hated, Dying 2 B Lo Jun 10, 2014

    Dr. Coop? which no-show/paper classes did Dr. Coop claim to have been "teaching?

  • P0wered by Heels Jun 10, 2014

    Cue the ABC'R crowd:

    "No He Didn't!!!!"lolololol

  • CIAA Tournament: Quarterfinals

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • CIAA Tournament: Quarterfinals

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • CIAA Tournament: Semifinal

    Friday at 7:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • ACC: UNC at Pitt

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer: Watford vs. West Ham *Joined in Progress*

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Creighton @ Villanova

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA Golf: The Honda Classic

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Flyers v. Penguins

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • College Basketball Oregon at California

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL Hockey Ottawa Senators at Carolina Hurricanes

    Friday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • College Basketball Creighton at Villanova

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Men's College Basketball
22
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
2
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
3
6
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
7
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
8
10
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
23
5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST
Preview
24
NBA Scoreboard
Thursday, Feb 23
Portland 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 CTNaN:�
Orlando 
Charlotte 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Houston 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
New Orleans 
New York 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Cleveland 
LA Clippers 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Golden State 
Denver 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Sacramento 
NHL Scoreboard
Edmonton 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Florida 
Washington 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Philadelphia 
Boston 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 北京时间8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Anaheim 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Open 13 (ATP)
First Round
(8) B. Paire7 5 64   
D. Medvedev5 7 77   
Second Round
(7) G. Simon6 2 6   
J. Benneteau2 6 3   
(6) R. Gasquet7 6    
M. Youzhny5 2    
(3) N. Kyrgios6 6    
M. Jaziri4 2    
(4) L. Pouille7 7    
A. Bedene5 5    
 
Delray Beach Open (ATP)
Second Round
(3) J. Sock     
G. Garcia-Lop     
(5) S. Johnson 
Y. Nishioka 
(8) K. Edmund 
Y. Lu 
(1) M. Raonic 
B. Coric 
 
Rio Open (ATP)
Second Round
N. Kicker6 6    
A. De Greef3 3    
F. Delbonis4 61    
D. Schwartzma6 77    
(5) A. Ramos-Vino 
F. Fognini 
(2) D. Thiem 
D. Lajovic 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Dubai Tennis Championship (WTA)
Third Round
E. Makarova6 1 3   
L. Davis4 6 6   
(8) E. Vesnina6 4 64   
A. Konjuh3 6 77   
Q. Wang6 6    
K. Mladenovic1 4    
(7) E. Svitolina4 6 6   
C. McHale6 4 3   
S. Peng4 3    
A. Sevastova6 6    
(1) A. Kerber6 6    
M. Puig2 3    
(4) A. Radwanska4 6 2   
C. Bellis6 2 6   
(10) C. Wozniacki3 6 6   
K. Bondarenko6 2 3   
 
Hungarian Ladies Open (WTA)
First Round
D. Allertova78 3 4   
I. Khromachev66 6 6   
(5) Y. Wickmayer6 4 7   
I. Shinikova3 6 5   
B. Stefkova6 5 4   
I. Falconi4 7 6   
(4) S. Cirstea3 2    
C. Witthoeft6 6    
(7) O. Dodin6 6    
D. Galfi4 4    
(1) T. Babos6 6    
I. Soylu3 2    
Second Round
(3) J. Goerges6 6    
D. Vekic2 2    
(2) L. Safarova6 6    
S. Hsieh2 1    
(8) A. Beck6 6    
F. Stollar2 0    
(6) P. Parmentier63 4    
A. Sasnovich77 6