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April 27, 2007

Sean O'Hair


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Sean O'Hair to the interview room. Sean with a 1-under par 69 today. Just maybe talk a little bit about conditions out at TPC and we'll open it up for some questions.
SEAN O'HAIR: Sure. Well, the wind was a little bit different today, so I just -- obviously I didn't play TPC yesterday so it didn't really have too much effect. I think obviously I knew that Cottonwood was going to play a lot easier so there was going to be some good scores out on Cottonwood.
You know, it just was -- for me today was not a very good ball-striking day, and it was a little bit kind of one of those days where you're just trying to get along and trying to get a feel for the greens because obviously I haven't played it -- I guess I played it Monday, so it's been a while since I was on the golf course. So I was just trying to get a good feel for the weekend, and obviously the greens are a lot different than they are over at Cottonwood.
You know, just trying to get something going, and I think I did a good job hanging in there, especially on the back nine. I was playing pretty good, made eagle on 8, got things going -- excuse me, eagle on 7, got things going, made a birdie on 9, and just from there I missed a few makeable putts.
Then all of a sudden my swing was a little bit off and just was struggling to make pars coming in. But I'm happy with where I am going into the weekend.

Q. On 14 you made a great save there. A, how long was that putt; and then B, what happened on the next hole?
SEAN O'HAIR: That putt, I mean, I couldn't -- I guess it was about 25 feet, and it just -- one of those putts where you've just got to -- I guessed right, and luckily it was just hard enough to go in. I struggled a little bit with the speed of the greens today. Some of them don't have grass on them and they're a little bit faster, and then like on some of the holes coming in, they had a little bit more grass and so they were a little bit slower. You know, 18 is a perfect example.
You know, 15 was just -- actually I made a pretty good swing and I just yanked it a hair, and I just went at it so hard that it just kept going left, and I was expecting that wind to kind it take it over to the right a little bit, and it just never did. I really hit that drive hard.
So, you know, I guess it started on 13, pulled it left, and that was the first shot I pulled, and I was pulling a few shots on the front and then I started hitting the ball good, then pulled a shot on 13, made bogey, 14, over-corrected, and then pulled it on 18, and then I hit some nice shots coming in. But it's nothing major.

Q. You said you were trying to get a feel for the weekend. Do you feel like you've got a pretty good idea of --
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. I'm tuned in. I'm very much looking forward to this weekend.

Q. Sounds like you figured something out coming in or something.
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, you just -- I'm liking how everybody is talking about the greens because they're not talking positive about it. It's just, like -- and for me, I just think that, yeah, you're going to miss putts that you feel like you should make and that's fine, but the more greens you hit, the better.
I feel like -- you know, I'm going to get it tuned in on the range this afternoon, and hopefully -- obviously the more greens you hit this weekend, the better off you are.
I think my game, the way I feel and everything, I'm liking how I feel going into the weekend and I like my position going into the weekend.

Q. If you work on a change in your swing, something you've decided you want to change, how long will you work on it before you'll actually take that change to the golf course?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, immediately. You know, I'm kind of the feeling of, you know, if you're good enough to get out here, what you have is good enough. So making an overhaul is pointless. You may as well give up your TOUR card in my opinion.
Now, Tiger obviously is different. Tiger can probably hit it left-handed and still play pretty good.
You know, for me it's just a tweak here or a tweak there, and so if I go see my instructor and he says, okay, you need to start doing this a little bit and I'm hitting it all over the place, I'm going to tell him, give me something else because that obviously isn't working. But I can kind of get a feel for it in ten swings, and if I can't get a feel for it, it's not the right thing for me.
Normally it's improvements, so I'll take them straight from the driving range to the golf course.

Q. So when you practice do you tend to spend more time in short game stuff?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, I work pretty hard on shaping shots. There's a certain ball flight that I want, and I really work hard on trying to start the ball where I want to and do what I want to with the golf ball, and you make sure that your setup is what you want and check your lines and all that stuff.
But yeah, you spend a lot of time on short game. That's where the game is won is on the putting green and around the greens. I guess a perfect example is 14. If you don't make that up-and-down, you know -- obviously, to be honest with you, it was a pretty fortunate up-and-down, but that right there saved my round, I think. That was a huge momentum builder.

Q. Do you find in a situation like this where some of the greens are different and it's not quite as consistent as some TOUR events that more guys don't practice putting as much at events where they know that the greens are exactly the same as the practice green?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, the guys that work hard work hard every week. I mean, they're out here no matter what. It can be raining and they're out here beating balls. So I don't think the greens really have an effect.
I think practicing on these greens is important because -- especially the mental side of it. If you're practicing on these greens and noticing that, hey, you can make perfect putts and them not go in, then you know what to expect going in.
For me I think practicing on practice greens is important, especially on the bare areas, and kind of get a feel for speed. If I didn't practice hard on the greens before today, I would have three-putted three or four times today. The dirt is faster than the grass.

Q. You said that you liked the fact that a lot of players are moaning about the greens. Is that because then if you have a positive attitude you might have an edge over someone who might have a negative attitude?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, yeah, if you have a negative attitude about the greens, you're sitting there complaining all the time, I don't see how you're going to make putts. You know, if you're just focusing on you and focusing on making a good read and making a good stroke and then everything else is out of your hands, I don't see how you can have a better attitude than that.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through real quick starting with the birdie at 1.
SEAN O'HAIR: Let's see, yeah, I hit a nice shot, the first tee jitters, and then hit a really good shot with I think it was a wedge from about 119 and made a nice little putt. I think it was probably about a four- or five-footer.
And then bogey -- yeah, pulled -- that was kind of the start of the bad swings. I pulled a 5-iron on 2. It was a perfect 5-iron for me so I was a little bit surprised I didn't hit a good shot there. But pulled it a little bit and had a tough lie and didn't make the putt.
I just kind of was hitting some good shots but not making putts, and then I hit a beautiful drive on 7 over the bunkers and had about -- I think Stevie said it was 214 to the pin or something like that, uphill, wind was more left to right, helping slightly, and I hit a great 4-iron just a little low, and it kind of went over the green a little bit and I didn't have much to work with, and it just was one of those shots where you just do the best job you can, and luckily it just went in the hole. I was just trying to actually keep it somewhere around the hole so I could have a decent putt at it. That was a nice little bonus there.
The chip was on a downhill slope in some nasty rough, and it probably was about five paces off the green and probably three paces to the pin, so 15 feet, 20 feet, something like that.
And then 9, I hit a nice little 3-wood on the left side of the fairway, and it was a perfect just little knock-down 9-iron for me, and knocked it to like 12 feet, made the putt.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Sean, thank you. Play well this weekend.

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