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

  • HighSchoolOT Live: Kickoff special

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer: Stoke City vs. Arsenal

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series #3: Bristol

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • P&G Gymnastics Championships

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • AVP Pro Beach Volleyball: Manhattan Beach

    Sunday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Solheim Cup

    Sunday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer : Manchester United vs. Leicester

    Saturday, Aug. 26 at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Football Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL Football Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Arizona 11:10 PT12:10 MT1:10 CT2:10 ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 MST1:10 EST1:40 VEN22:10 UAE1:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
NY Yankees 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets 
American League
Cleveland010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota0
Tampa Bay 1:07 PT2:07 MT3:07 CT4:07 ET16:07 ET20:07 GMT4:07 1:07 MST3:07 EST3:37 VEN0:07 UAE (+1)3:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
Cleveland 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota 
Chi White Sox 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
National League
Cincinnati011:20 PT12:20 MT1:20 CT2:20 ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 MST1:20 EST1:50 VEN22:20 UAE1:20 CT
Preview
Chi Cubs0
Atlanta 12:10 PT1:10 MT2:10 CT3:10 ET15:10 ET19:10 GMT3:10 12:10 MST2:10 EST2:40 VEN23:10 UAE2:10 CT
Preview
Colorado 
St. Louis 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
Washington 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
San Diego 
Philadelphia 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Rochester 9:05 PT10:05 MT11:05 CT12:05 ET5:05 GMT
Columbus 
Lehigh Valley 9:05 PT10:05 MT11:05 CT12:05 ET5:05 GMT
Norfolk 
Indianapolis 10:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET6:05 GMT
Buffalo 
Durham 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Syracuse 
Gwinnett 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
Toledo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Charlotte 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Louisville 
Wyndham Champ (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Every-713
2tW. Simpson-613
2tR. Lamb-69
4tL. Glover-516
4tC. Smith-514
4tV. Taylor-513
4tA. Lahiri-512
4tM. Wilson-512
4tT. Wilkinson-510
10tM. Laird-416
View Full Leaderboard
 
Womens British (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1I. Kim-18F
2J. Ewart Shadoff-16F
3tG. Hall-13F
3tC. Masson-13F
3tM. Wie-13F
6J. Shin-12F
7tS. Feng-11F
7tH. Kim-11F
7tS. Lewis-11F
7tA. Nordqvist-11F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Paul Lawrie (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
Im v BJERREGAARD146 and 4
Fisher v FRITSCH181 up
Jamieson v PAISLEY221 up
Morrison v KIMSEY172 and 1
WALL v Walker181 up
Havret v PORTEOUS172 and 1
OTAEGUI v Stal164 and 2
Hanson v BERTASIO172 and 1
Drysdale v JACQUELIN182 up
ROCK v Warren201 up
Colsaerts v WU154 and 3
KARLBERG v Wallace145 and 4
CAMPILLO v Aguilar172 and 1
Peterson v DONALDSON172 and 1
MOLINARI v Karlsson241 up
CHESTERS v Gouveia164 and 2
DETRY v De La Riva173 and 1
ELVIRA v Walters181 up
Bland v CANIZARES173 and 1
Hanson v LAWRIE201 up
Bourdy v FRASER172 and 1
KIEFFER v Carlsson154 and 3
Jensen v KNAPPE172 and 1
Dredge v DUBUISSON163 and 2
Pavon v ILONEN118 and 7
Quesne v SIEM151 up
DUNNE v Holman136 and 5
FAHRBRING v Edfors142 up
SOUTHGATE v Wattel121 up
CARLSSON v Brooks124 up
Ramsay v LEWIS113 up
Lombard v Gros11AS
View Full Leaderboard
Fiji Intl (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1D. Pearce-618
2tB. Campbell-518
2tD. Valente-518
4tA. Bland-418
4tG. Green-418
4tD. McKenzie-418
4tP. Wilson-418
8tD. Brandt-Richards-318
8tA. Connelly-318
8tR. Gangjee-318
View Full Leaderboard
 
3M Championship (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1P. Goydos - z-20F
2G. Sauers - y-20F
3tB. Jobe-18F
3tS. Stricker-18F
3tK. Sutherland-18F
6S. Verplank-17F
7tM. Dawson-16F
7tK. Perry-16F
7tW. Short, Jr.-16F
7tD. Waldorf-16F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Aug. 17
Western & Southern Open (ATP/WTA)
Third Round
(2) S. Halep 
(15) A. Sevastova 
(8) S. Kuznetsova 
C. Suarez Nav 
(6) C. Wozniacki 
A. Barty 
(4) G. Muguruza 
(16) M. Keys 
(7) J. Konta 
(11) D. Cibulkova 
(1) K. Pliskova 
C. Giorgi 
(5) E. Svitolina 
J. Goerges 
S. Stephens 
E. Makarova