home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 11, 2006

Sean O'Hair


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sean, for joining us for a few minutes here at the media center at the John Deere Classic. Defending champion sounds pretty good, and on top of that, happy birthday.

SEAN O'HAIR: Thank you. It's nice to be back. There's just a lot of good memories on this golf course, and it feels pretty good, fits my game well, so it's just nice to be back.

Q. How is the condition of the golf course?

SEAN O'HAIR: It's in good shape. You know, the rough isn't quite as high as I would like to see it, but it's in phenomenal shape. It's a little bit wet obviously due to the rain that we've had in the last, I guess, 24 hours. But it's in great shape, the greens are perfect, fairways and tees are awesome, and this tournament is always in good shape. Just the same old John Deere.

Q. Did you go back and try the chip over at 18, the one you had last year?

SEAN O'HAIR: No. No, I didn't. Actually I played 18 yesterday late in the evening, and I was kind of looking at the chip just to see what I did. Looking at it, it's pretty cool, pretty impressive, actually. I don't think I could do it again.

Q. Last year coming in here you talked about you were kind of struggling coming in and I think you went to the borders or Barnes & Noble and bought some books. Anything similar this year, are you searching for anything?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, it's actually the exact opposite. I think the goal for me this week, I'm playing so well and I'm hitting the ball so well, just not to put the pressure on myself to try and make something happen. My game is about as good as it's been all year. I'll actually excited. I'm just going to go out and have fun, and hopefully the results fall in my lap.

Q. You've mentioned at times having to deal with distractions, especially earlier in the year. Are those having to do with being the Rookie of the Year and a first time winner?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I put a lot of distractions on myself as far as the expectation level and what I did last year and trying to out do it this year, instead of just focusing on what I need to focus on, which is improving my game and just going about my routines and stuff like that. I was going out to each tournament trying to win. Not saying that I'm not trying to win every event, but there's a certain way to go about it, and for me it's just a matter of going about the process instead of worrying about the results, and whenever I worry about results, I tend to put a little too much pressure on myself.

That's kind of what the goal is this week. You know, playing so well, you can kind of get in a frame of mind of, well, I should do this or I should do that, and the expectation level kind of goes sky high. I think for me right now, I'm just going to try to get the expectation level down so I can just go out and play and enjoy it because my game is there, it's just a matter of doing it.

Q. Did something click in the last month or so?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I've been working really, really hard. I got a new coach obviously at Doral, and our communication has been phenomenal since Doral. I've been learning about my swing and what makes my swing work and what my tendencies are, and I just think this past month has kind of been a byproduct of a lot of hard work and good communication on the team.

I had a new guy on the bag last week, and that worked out well. I'm just trying to build a team and kind of get my game going a little bit so I can kind of get in a routine of hopefully at the end of the year I'll be contending more and more because I haven't really done it much this year.

Q. Who is the teacher?

SEAN O'HAIR: Gary Gilchrist.

Q. Why the change?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think with a teacher a lot of things have to mesh, you know, communication, time that you're able to spend with him, understanding what he's teaching, and that just clicked better with Gary. That's why I changed.

Q. Last year was like a big breakthrough, big emotional breakthrough and golfing breakthrough. Has that had the momentum to carry through for a while, and what have you done to replace it? It's been a year.

SEAN O'HAIR: You mean the momentum?

Q. Yeah.

SEAN O'HAIR: Momentum is great. You try to ride it out whenever you can, whenever you've got it. I think at the beginning of this year, like I said, with all the expectation level and everything that results weren't there, and so the momentum was actually the opposite; I was more in a rut and I was trying to fight my way out of it. I've been in a lot of ruts in my career and I'm used to working my way out of it.

I wasn't concerned about it at all, and now I'm starting to see the results of a lot of hard work, like I said, so you know, whenever you're playing well, you just try to ride it out, and when you're playing bad, you just try to ride it out. That's the funny thing about this game is that you're going to have your good spurts and you're going to have your bad spurts. I'm just kind of going from there.

Q. How many caddies have you had since changing from Steve?

SEAN O'HAIR: Just Bobby Verwey and then a guy this week, David Brooker.

Q. Do you know who he's been with?

SEAN O'HAIR: Grace Park for the last four years, five years.

Q. How did you guys hook up?

SEAN O'HAIR: My instructor.

Q. What's been your mindset coming in as a defending champion?

SEAN O'HAIR: You mean what's my strategy? Just go out and make a lot of birdies. I guess my goal at the beginning of the year was to hopefully be peaking at this time because obviously next week is the British, and I'd like to start contending for majors. I think I played well in the U.S. Open, but that's really the only major I've played well in. I just kind of wanted to peak at this time because this is my kind of time where I start playing well, and my game right now is as good as it's been. It's kind of, I guess, the goal I've accomplished the goal, now it's just a matter of getting out of my own way and just playing. Like I said, hopefully the results fall in my lap.

Q. Did you make changes with Gary?

SEAN O'HAIR: Swing changes?

Q. Yeah.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, a little bit here and there. Early in the year I was trying to rotate the club on plane going back early in the year, and that just is not for me. I was taught to keep the face a little more square, and that's kind of what we've been working on, just trying to keep the club square and keep the club in front of me and work on my release, releasing under instead of around.

I was trying to flatten out things early in the year, and that's just not for me. I learned quickly that that's not what my swing is all about, so I'm going with what works for me. I've been hitting the ball better than I have my whole career. And I've done it more consistently, I mean, every day, for the past six weeks I've been hitting it pure.

I've played fairly well in every event except for the Hartford, which I kind of had some caddie issues at the Hartford. It's just a matter of putting and getting my head out of my out of the way (laughter).

Q. You talked about wanting to contend a little bit more in majors. How much do you know about the two venues that are going to host the two remaining venues this year, and being in Chicago last week did you go over and see Medinah?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, I didn't. I know nothing about them. I'm very much looking forward to the British. It's my favorite, to be honest with you. It's what golf should be about, and it's about hitting shots, hitting low shots, hitting high shots, hitting different clubs. I'm pretty excited about it.

I've heard it's a fairly flat golf course. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what I've heard. Certainly if the wind gets up, it's going to be just a typical British Open, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Do you think that more players are going to start to do these like advanced preparations at tournament sites like Phil Mickelson talks about so much?

SEAN O'HAIR: Different strokes for different folks. That's what works for him. For me it's just kind of, like, what's the point. I see what I need to see the two or three days ahead. There's no secret there normally. St. Andrews there's a few tricks here and there, and obviously the more you play a course, the better you're going to know it. But going over a week in advance for me is just not my thing. I'd rather play a competition and stay sharp that way the week before.

But as far as, I guess, other players, I think you're starting to see other players a lot of my buddies are going over like Wednesday of this week, so they're going over there fairly early.

Q. Do you anticipate having an easier time getting from here to there than you did last year?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think so. I called Joan

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: No, it was Monday night at 11:00.

SEAN O'HAIR: And I said, "I don't know if I'm going to be able to go." She said, "Yeah, you are, you're getting a passport."

Q. Looks like you, Zach, Michelle had pretty good interaction out there despite the rain. Can you talk about that?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, Zach is a class act, top notch player and top notch guy. He's always fun to play a round with. I enjoy I definitely owe him one, though. We were playing a little match at the end of the round. We tied it today, but he beat me in the Match Play, so I definitely owe him.

Michelle, she's a great player. You know obviously I don't get to play with her much, so it's obviously fun to play with her. She's a good girl, and she's very sweet and she's very nice and down to earth. The same thing with Jason; Jason is great. It was a good group, a lot of fun to play.

Q. You played a practice round with her in Hawaii as I recall, too. Did you notice any changes?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, I think she was hitting a little bit longer today than what I remember, but same old swing and hitting it pure.

Q. So you guys talked a little bit about her weight training, her then new weight training?

SEAN O'HAIR: I haven't talked to her much about that. I don't like to get too involved in that kind of discussion.

Q. Are you afraid she's going to fill your head with ideas?

SEAN O'HAIR: Like I said, different strokes for different folks (laughter). You know, I like to stretch a lot and do I'm starting actually to do a little bit of yoga, but as far as like lifting weights, every time I lift weights I go see like a Van Damme movie, and I see his body, and then I think I'm going to do a few push ups and then I'm sore the next day. I don't think it's for me.

Q. Who is your former teacher, besides Jack Nicklaus and his instruction books, and how long were you with him?

SEAN O'HAIR: My former was Lead, and then last year most of the year was Steve Dahlby.

Q. Last year you made some very positive comments about Michelle playing with the guys and her place on Tour, whatever it might be. How were those comments received from some of your peers out there?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, different. There's different opinions. I think overall everybody is cool with it, to be honest with you. I think I've got my own opinion; obviously it's great for the Tour because if you watch the ratings, this week they're going to go sky high, and it's great for the event. There's no negative part of it.

Like I said, she's a sweet girl, so I'm sure she's very appreciative of it, and she's a great player.

I think as far as making a case for her, I think it would be better for her if she won a tournament out on the LPGA Tour, and I think once she does that, a lot of guys are probably going to accept it a lot better. But I think for me it's just it's just a matter of time, and to be quite frank with you, I think she'll make the cut this week.

Q. You said last year you thought she was better than you. This is after you had the trophy. What did you see today? Can you hang with her?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think I can kick her butt, to be honest with you (laughter). Whenever I was that age, she would have knocked me upside the head every single hole. I think I can keep it up with her right now, but when she gets a little bit older and a little bit wiser, I think she'll probably dust me.

Q. How did she putt today?

SEAN O'HAIR: She putts fine. She's got a good stroke, she's a good putter. The problem is everybody talking about it. Once everybody stops talking about it and quits talking to her about it give her a break, you know? She's going to learn how to do it out here, and she's got everything, it's just a matter of whenever people are talking about it all the time, it just puts pressure on yourself. It's just a matter of time.

Q. Are you a year older and wiser in a sense, given what your last year has been, things that you experienced that you otherwise wouldn't have being a champion here?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I feel like a better player in general. Do I feel older? I was actually looking at some pictures with my wife when I was home last, and I actually look younger in the pictures, and that was kind of a scary thought. You know, thank God I'm not Zach's age (laughter). He's getting over the hill. But I'm getting there.

Q. Talk about this event today for the youth. What does it mean to you to be able to play in a foursome like this with a bunch of kids watching, and what message do you try to give to them?

SEAN O'HAIR: It's nice to see the youth get involved and be interested because that's our future. That's the future of I guess I've got one kid and one on the way, and I kind of get excited about it. I think it's good for the game and obviously it's good for them because golf is great to get involved with.

As far as a message to them, obviously just to keep things in perspective, you see a lot of athletes, especially in our sports, turn pro at a young age and getting paid all the money and all that stuff. My recommendation is just keep it simple and always keep your goals in mind and just stay level headed and just be humble. That's all I've got.

Q. When is the baby due?

SEAN O'HAIR: January.

Q. Congratulations.

SEAN O'HAIR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297