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July 4, 2015

Sean O'Hair


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Sean O'Hair into the interview room after his third consecutive round in the 60s. Sean, welcome back here into the media center. If we can just get your thoughts.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, obviously excited to be in this situation again. Playing really well. Today just kind of played old-school golf, just fairways and greens and made a few putts. Left a couple putts out there, but all in all, felt very good about today's round.

Q. I don't know if you've noticed the leaderboard, but right now there's 31 players within four strokes. I mean, that's a heck of a crowd you're sitting on right now. Have you seen anything quite like it?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I just think the last few years you see a trend of -- our TOUR has gotten a lot deeper. You know, you see cuts and the leader being very tight, whether it be six or seven shots. It used to be upwards of 10 shots. I just feel like this field every week is just so strong, and it's really anybody's game any given Sunday. It's exciting. You know, I'm glad I'm -- like I said, I'm not at the bottom of the scoreboard, and I've got a good opportunity tomorrow.

Q. What's changed for you this week over the last six or seven weeks that you haven't had the success that you're having this week?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I played really well at the beginning of the year, and I kind of hit a lull at Colonial. Felt like I hit the ball really well at Colonial. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, just didn't putt very well. Kind of the same story at Memorial. The greens at Memorial are very undulating and very quick, and I felt like I was always putting myself on the wrong side of the pins and had a lot of three-putts this week, so I missed the cut there. Last week I just felt like I tried to force it too much, and this week I just kind of got back to how I like to play the game. I'm not playing super aggressive. I'm really focused on just hitting a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and giving myself as many opportunities at birdie as possible, and I really feel like I'm not trying to force the issue, and I'm seeing kind of my game come around. Ball-striking has even improved, putting is kind of coming around a little bit, and here we are.

Q. Given the struggles you had for a couple years, how close do you feel to being the player now that you were sort of in your prime?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I feel like I've got my best golf ahead of me. I really do. I feel like I'm working on the right things. I think the things that I'm working on now are a lot simpler. I feel like on a day-to-day basis I feel like I know what I'm doing more so than say a coach telling me what I need to do. And that's not pointing fingers at any coach, it's just saying, just as a player, owning your game versus a coach telling you what to do are two totally different things. I just feel like I own my game on a day-to-day basis. You know, my caddie and I talk a lot about each week. Last week we felt like we kind of forced the issue a little bit too much, and we made an adjustment, and I'm seeing results. I just felt like the last couple years when I've struggled, I haven't really owned my game. I've tried a lot of different things, tried a lot of different methods, and really just got back to me hitting a lot of balls and just going back to basics and kind of, like I said, just owning it.

Q. You didn't win in Tampa, but how much did getting in a playoff and getting in that position do to sort of reconfirm what you're doing and where you are?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, any time you can give yourself a chance to win on the back nine on Sunday is a good thing. You know, whether you win or you don't win, at least you're giving yourself the opportunity. When I look at my career, I haven't given myself a lot of opportunities to win golf tournaments, and I feel that's why I've got four wins instead of maybe 10 wins. I feel like I've got the game to win a lot, but I just don't give myself the opportunities. When I do do that, I feel good about it. You know, I'm excited about tomorrow. I haven't put myself in this position enough, I feel, and it's exciting.

Q. With the scattered showers and the sunshine and the wind, how are you able to consistently make adjustments with the weather that's transpired throughout the week?
SEAN O'HAIR: It just kind of is what it is. I think we all expect that it's going to be kind of hit or miss, and you know, when you do get kind of a shower come in, the wind kicks up, and the golf course goes from fairly easy to pretty difficult. I mean, there's some tee shots where you get some crosswinds and where it kind of makes you second-guess some targets and some shots. But you just kind of expect it. You know, I think tomorrow is supposed to be kind of nasty, as well. You just go with it.

Q. It's been a while since you've won, as you said, but the four wins are more than pretty much everyone within a couple shots of the lead. Do you feel like going into what could be a shootout tomorrow that that experience is going to help you?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think this is my 11th year out here, which is frightening. I just think that experience and playing with some really great players in the past, I think your failures actually help you better than your successes. Yeah, and I feel good about tomorrow. It's a funny thing, I really didn't feel nervous today, especially when I put myself in the situation where I was close to the lead. I felt very comfortable, and right now I feel very comfortable. Obviously tomorrow I could feel totally different. But yeah, going into tomorrow, I know what I'm probably going to feel like when I wake up in the morning. I know what I'm going to feel like when I step up on the practice tee and on the first tee, so it's not like I haven't been in this situation before. Like I said, just do the best job I can and just continue to play my game and see what happens.

Q. Obviously you're here to win tomorrow, but there's also four places in the Open on offer at St. Andrews. Is that on your mind at all?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's in the back of my mind for sure. You know, I've had -- I mean, who doesn't love playing the British Open at St. Andrews? I don't think -- either Augusta, I can't think of any tournament I'd want to play more. I played there twice, had some success both times when I played there, so you know, it would be great. Obviously it's not something I'm going to put a ton of pressure on myself to try and achieve, but to pull that off would be fantastic.
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