SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Ernie Els had another sad day upon learning that his former psychologist, Jos Vanstiphout, had died of a heart attack.
A friend of the psychologist said Vanstiphout died Friday night of a heart attack, the European Tour said. The friend, Xavier Champagne, said Vanstiphout broke his hip two years ago in a fall from a ladder, and in recent months had been dealing with shortness of breath.
Vanstiphout was 62.
Born in Belgium, he became interested in golf psychology after reading Tim Gallwey's book, "The Inner Game of Golf."
He worked with Retief Goosen when the South African won his first U.S. Open in 2001 at Southern Hills, where Goosen three-putted for bogey from 12 feet on the last hole to allow for a playoff, and then beat Mark Brooks the next day.
He more famously worked with Els, who won his first British Open in 2002 after the first sudden-death playoff in Open history.
Els, speaking at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, received the news two days after the death of Nelson Mandela. He said Vanstiphout meant much to his career.