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Golf

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

Posted June 10
Updated June 11

— 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.

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  • P0wered by Heels Jun 10, 8:31 p.m.

    Cue the ABC'R crowd:

    "No He Didn't!!!!"

    lolololol

  • 903 Born 2 B Hated, Dying 2 B Lo Jun 10, 8:49 p.m.

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

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Scoreboard
Local
3rd
CAR 3
TOR 1
 
2nd
DUKE 45
UCONN 32
 
3rd
CHI 52
NYK 50
 
2nd
HOU 39
NOP 44
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
 
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
1st OT
SDKST 73
IDST 67
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
2nd
CHAR 57
APP 55
 
2nd
MISS 54
CCAR 53
 
2nd
DUKE 45
UCONN 32
 
2nd
BRAD 60
EUREK 31
 
2nd
PEAY 50
OAKC 43
 
2nd
JST 50
SMISS 26
 
Half
SD 27
MNTST 26
 
1st
UAB 28
LSU 22
 
1st
EVAN 25
OHIO 23
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
1st OT
PIT 0
COL 0
 
3rd
PHI 1
FLA 1
 
3rd
CAR 3
TOR 1
 
3rd
CLB 4
WAS 3
 
2nd
MON 0
ANA 1
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
2nd
JAC 0
TEN 10