US Open winner Gary Woodland testament to teaching of Pete Cowen

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Sitting in a quiet corner of an airport lounge in San Francisco as the US Open hurtled towards its conclusion, Pete Cowen realised that he could not lose. The Yorkshireman took over full-time coaching duties for Gary Woodland at the end of last year. Brooks Koepka, who ultimately failed to catch Woodland at Pebble Beach, has been a long-term Cowen pupil.

itting in a quiet corner of an airport lounge in San Francisco as the US Open hurtled towards its conclusion, Pete Cowen realised that he could not lose. The Yorkshireman took over full-time coaching duties for Gary Woodland at the end of last year. Brooks Koepka, who ultimately failed to catch Woodland at Pebble Beach, has been a long-term Cowen pupil.

Woodland understandably credits Cowen as a key influence on the ending of his major drought at the age of 35. “Pete’s been amazing for me,” the new US Open champion said. “He’s not really a teacher; he’s a coach. He tells you: ‘This is the gameplan. This is what we’re going to do.’ And then it’s up to me to go out and do it.

“He sent me an unbelievable text on Sunday morning that had nothing to do with my golf swing or technique. He said: ‘Every man dies but not every man lives, and you live for this moment.’ He knows what to say and when to say it. We’ve been working on the full swing only since December and I’m hitting it as good as I ever have.”

Cowen’s approach to Woodland is fascinating. In the early stages of their alliance – Woodland had previously been under the tutelage of the now retired Butch Harmon – Cowen became irked by regular cries for help from the Kansas City native. Woodland’s background in college basketball, it seemed, was a professional hindrance.

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