November 17, 2005

Sports psychologist banned by Tour after hitting caddie

By Norman Dabell

VILAMOURA, Portugal (Reuters) - British sports psychologist
John Pates has been banned from the European Tour for three
months following a scuffle in China last week with a caddie.

Pates, who includes Welsh World Cup player Bradley Dredge
on his client-list, was caught on close circuit cameras in a
fracas with Dredge's former caddie Rick Brand before the start
of last week's Champions tournament in Shanghai.

Pates told Reuters on Thursday: "The fact that I hit him
was, in hindsight, unacceptable. At the end of the day, what I
did was wrong.

"I have no choice than to accept the ban. I need
accreditation to work and they don't want me to work."

The 6ft 3in English sports psychologist admitted striking
caddie Brand, 5ft 7ins, in the foyer of the players' hotel in

The ban was imposed after telephone calls between Pates and
Tour director David Garland on Thursday during the World Cup in
Portugal, where Pates was on hand advising Dredge and Scot
Stephen Gallacher.

"John Pates will have his accreditation taken away for a
period of three months, effective from December 1 2005. The
caddie has been fined an undisclosed sum," Garland told

Brand, who is caddying this week for Dutchman Robert-Jan
Derksen, had provoked Pates, the psychologist said. The caddie
was not immediately available for comment.

Although Pates has been told he must not frequent players'
hotels, there is nothing to stop them visiting him for advice
if their meetings do not take place at European Tour

Dredge would say nothing about the matter after he and
Stephen Dodd challenged strongly two shots off England's early
World Cup lead, but when asked what the English mental coach
had advised this week, joked: "Be more aggressive."

Gallacher added: "This was all completely out of character
for John."