Quick Round With

By Randall MellJuly 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
Morris Pickens is hot in the sports psychology business.
Stewart Cinks victory at the British Open gives Pickens back-to-back assists in the major championship season. He also works with Lucas Glover, winner of the U.S. Open. Overall, thats three major championship teams Pickens has been part of since leaving the nest as a student under Bob Rotella and jumping into the mind coaching business. He also works with Zach Johnson, winner of the Masters in 2007.
A graduate of Clemson University, Pickens is based at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia, where his clients include Charles Warren, the original link who led to connections with Glover, Johnson and Cink.
Senior writer Randall Mell caught up with Pickens this week for a quick round:
As a shrink, youre actually getting large now, arent you? Has your phone stopped ringing since Stewart Cinks victory?
After something like this, you become smarter overnight.
Your major championship winners have something in common. They both denied sentimental favorites. Glover denied Phil Mickelson and David Duval. Cink denied Tom Watson. Your boys both won when it seemed like everyone wanted somebody else to win. Have you had to talk to them about that?
They both understand the feelings. Would Stewart have been pulling for Tom Watson to win if he were watching the playoff? Probably so. Would Lucas have been pulling for Phil Mickelson or David Duval if he were watching them in that situation? Probably. But it didnt matter who Stewart and Lucas were with out there. They were playing the golf course. Stewart was playing Turnberry, Lucas was playing Bethpage.
Thats something we talk about and work on. Thats what Stewart and I talked about all week at Turnberry. Keep playing Turnberry, keep playing Turnberry, keep playing Turnberry. With Lucas and Stewart, we werent talking about winning the U.S. Open or winning the British Open. We talked about playing Bethpage and playing Turnberry.
Stewart knew who the other guy was in the playoff, but when Watson finished, Stewart wasnt thinking, `I have to play Tom Watson. He was thinking, `I have to play No. 5, the first playoff hole. He wasnt thinking, `Ive got to win the British Open. He was thinking, `Ive got to play No. 5.
You started working with Stewart at The Players Championship. What was he looking for from you?
He wanted help with his putting. He wanted to return to his putting form in 04, when he putted really well. He had gotten away from what he was doing. He wasnt thinking good on the greens. His routines werent consistent. He didnt practice it much, and so he basically wanted to overhaul his putting. He even changed from the long putter he was using to a short putter, but that was his decision. He didnt ask me what I thought of the switch. He said, `Im going with the short putter and I want you to help me with the thought process.
Developing a consistent routine was part of that. When you watched him at the British Open, what were you looking for?
I was looking to see, physically, if he were doing the things we worked on. How many steps? How many practice strokes? How long is he holding his look? You can get a sense if hes having other thoughts in his head. Those were the things I was looking for. Watching on TV, I didnt get to see all his shots, but what I saw from 17 and 18 and through the last four holes of the playoff, he didnt miss one step, one look in his routine, they were all right on cue. He didnt speed up or slow down or make it too important.
I was also watching to see if was getting too emotional.
A lot of people, every putt is for a result. The closer you get to the hole, the more you get score conscious. This putt is for a birdie, or to get up and down, or to get the lead. We try to take the putting for something out of it. Whether its a five footer for eagle or a five footer for double bogey, its still the same putt. That way you can make them all the same. It becomes a physical putt, not an emotional putt. The more you can make putting a physical act rather than an emotional act, the more you can make them all the same.
I also watched to see how he was talking about putts to himself. Its something we work on, and I could tell he was into describing the putt to himself. There were a couple times where I could literally see him mouthing to himself what the putt was going to do. Its a big thing.
Why is that a big thing?
Most people putt emotionally, and I dont think thats a good thing. When you listen to Tiger Woods talk about his putting, when he talked about the putts he made when he won the U.S. Open last year, he talked about how he knew what the putts were going to do. The putt he made to get into the playoff, he knew what that putt was for, but he was totally into how the putt was two balls out.
Stewart was part of that debacle at the 72nd hole at the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills, when he missed a short putt and missed out on a playoff. He came back from that admirably. You ever talk about that failure.
No, hes never brought it up. It was a cruel lesson about not playing someone and not playing for something, but how you just keep playing the course. In 01, he quit playing the course and started playing the outcome. At the British Open, even at the end of the playoff, when he was way up, he kept playing the course.
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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

Woods' initial comeback short-lived, leads to another back surgery

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Article: Players disappointed Woods withdraws from Dubai

Really, again: Tiger undergoes fourth back surgery

Begay on Tiger: Future is 'extremely uncertain'

Woods arrested for DUI, enters diversion program after getting "professional help"

Article: Woods arrested for DUI in May

Article: Police say Woods had 5 drugs in system when arrested

Article: DUI affidavit states Tiger asleep in parked car

Dashcam video released of Tiger's DUI arrest

Begay, Rolfing: Tiger's arrest needs to be wakeup call

Photos: Tiger Woods' car during DUI arrest

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Photos: Tiger Woods in court for DUI hearing

Article: Tiger gets 'professional help' for prescription meds

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Article: Woods pleads in court guilty to reckless driving

Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

Article: Doctor clears Woods for full golf activity six months after back surgery

Article: Tiger doesn't know what future holds

Article: Woods back to making full swings

Woods admits he might never return to competition

Making progress: Breaking down Tiger's driver swing

Woods returns to competition for first time since February at Hero World Challenge

Article: Hero comeback a success for healthy Woods

Article: Woods discusses his back: 'No issues at all, none'

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Woods out and about in 2017

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm
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NBC Sports' Coverage of LPGA Tour in 2017 Most-Viewed Season Ever for NBC Sports

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 13, 2017, 8:45 pm

NBC Sports’ LPGA Tour Coverage Ties 2013 for Most-Watched Year Since 2011

NBC and Golf Channel Boast Top-6 Most-Watched Women’s Golf Telecasts in 2017

Beginning with the dramatic playoff finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January and concluding with Lexi Thompson winning the $1 million Race to the CME Globe, nearly 22 million viewers tuned in to LPGA Tour coverage across Golf Channel and NBC in 2017. This makes 2017 the most-viewed LPGA Tour season across NBC Sports since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Additionally, 2017 tied 2013 as the LPGA Tour’s most-watched year across NBC Sports since 2011. Coverage drew an average of 221,000 viewers per telecast in 2017 (+24% vs. 2016), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.


For the first time ever in televised women’s golf, Sunday’s final round of the RICOH Women’s British Open (Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, 1.1 million viewers) delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast of the year. NBC’s Saturday (Day 2) coverage of the Solheim Cup in August placed second with 968,000 viewers, followed by Sunday’s Solheim Cup coverage on NBC with 946,000 viewers. Golf Channel’s live coverage of Sunday’s final day of the Solheim Cup drew 795,000 viewers, the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in eight years.





Avg. Viewers P2+
































  • ANA Inspiration - The LPGA’s first major championship delivered thefifth most-watched LPGA final round in Golf Channel history with 551,000 viewers when So Yeon Ryu defeated Lexi Thompson in a playoff following Thompson being assessed a four-stroke penalty earlier in the final round.
  • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The LPGA’s second major was seen by 6.6 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the largest audience for the event on record (2006-17). Sunday’s final round on NBC, which saw Danielle Kang win her first LPGA Tour event over defending champion Brooke Henderson, also was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history with 840,000 average viewers.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – NBC’s Sunday coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast in 2017 (.78 U.S. HH rating, 1.1 million viewers). In total, 7 million unique viewers tuned in to coverage across Golf Channel and NBC, the most-watched RICOH Women’s British Open in the past 10 years and the most-watched among the five women’s major championships in 2017.
  • Solheim Cup – Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795,000 average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf telecast on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup.


Golf Channel Digital posted record numbers of LPGA streaming consumption with 11.9 million live minutes streamed across LPGA Tour telecasts in 2017 (+563% vs. 2016).

  • Solheim Cup – Three-day coverage of the Solheim Cup saw 6.3 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports’ Digital platforms, trailing only the 2016 Rio Olympics (9 million) as the most-ever for a women’s golf event airing on Golf Channel / NBC.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – Four-day coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open saw 2 million minutes streamed, +773% vs. 2016.

NBC Sports Group combined to air 31 LPGA Tour events in 2017 and a total of 420 hours of coverage, the most in LPGA history. The exclusive cable home to the LPGA Tour, Golf Channel aired coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors also airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup also returned to network television for the first time in 15 years with weekend coverage on NBC.

Source: Nielsen 2017 Live+Same Day DVR vs. prior available data. Persons 2+ avg 000’s and/or Persons 2+ reach w/six-minute qualifier. Digital Metrics from Adobe Reports & Analytics. Details available.