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May 13, 2007

Sean O'Hair


STEWART MOORE: We had like to welcome Sean O'Hair to the interview room here at THE PLAYERS Championship. Sean, got off to a good start today, struggled a little bit on the back nine. Talk about your round a little bit and some of the things you think you're going to take away from this week.
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I guess I struggled a little bit in the beginning of the round, well, pretty much all day, hitting it a little left. You know, I did a good job managing it.
You know, I get I turned at 2-under and made a few putts. I made a good save on 7 for par. You know, I was hanging right there with Phil and felt like -- I felt good about the back nine. I was just taking it one shot at a time. You know, I just -- 10, I hit a good shot, but obviously being in the bunker, I didn't have a shot left of the pin unless I hooked it, and I didn't like hooking a 9-iron to the middle of the green. So I just took an 8-iron right at the pin. Hopefully I was going to get lucky, and I thought I hit a good shot and just six inches in the rough.
And then had a tough time there. Then had a nice opportunity on 11 to make birdie, and the bunker was a little bit softer than I thought and didn't really hit a stellar bunker shot out of there. So instead of 10, 11 being 1-under, I was 1-over, and I think that's kind of where the momentum changed.
And from then I just was trying to fight my way back. I had a nice opportunity on 15, hit a great putt, just it broke more.
And 16, had a nice opportunity. I mean, the hole is tilted dead right, and I just don't know how that didn't move at all. I hit a good putt there.
And then 17, I told Steve, I'm not playing for second. You know, I took it right at the pin, hit a great shot, and obviously the wind was helping. I thought the wind was more across, and it was helping. You know, I got kicked in the ass on 17.
And then I was trying to stay -- I hit a good shot on 18, just trying to stay out of Phil's way obviously, and unfortunately made bogey there. There you go.

Q. How much do you think the missed putt on 16 affected what you did on 17?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I mean, if I make the putt on 15 or if I make the putt on 16 or both, I don't take it at the pin. You know, two shots with two to play, Phil is not going to dunk it in the water. He's not going to make bogey-bogey. He might make par-bogey at best for me, worst for him but best for me. You've got to make something happen.
I didn't bust my butt for four days to get second place. So obviously I paid for it.

Q. The club selection on 17, did you have what you wanted the whole way or was there any debate?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, there was no debate. The way I thought, you know, the wind was dead across. I thought it was dead across on 16, so it shouldn't have been any different. If anything I felt like it should have been a little bit into me. You know, the top of my wedge is 125, 130 maybe, and that -- if I hit it, just nuke it. I had 128 to cover the bunker and 136 to the pin and 148 to the back edge. Over wasn't even a thought.
You know, I went dead after the pin, and it was right on line with the pin, maybe a yard right of the pin, and went in the water.

Q. Last night in here you said, I'm going to pretend like it's not the pressure, or what choice do I have. A day later having been through the pressure, what happened on 17? How has your perspective changed, if at all?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think I'm good enough to win. I think I've proven myself. You know, I'm not -- you know, people can sit there on TV I guess and say -- and take it that I might have choked or I was scared. But I felt like I wasn't scared of Phil, I wasn't scared of winning, and I gave it my best shot today. You know what, unfortunately I just didn't have it.

Q. You've sort of answered it, but you've been in contention before on Sunday on the back nine. Was it any different playing here, playing with Phil on the back nine today than any other time? Did it feel any different?
SEAN O'HAIR: It was a lot more fun. It was a lot more fun. It's a lot of fun to be tied with the second best player in the world at the biggest championship on the PGA TOUR, head to head. It was a lot of fun.

Q. You marked your ball several times on 14. Why? Were you not seeing the line?
SEAN O'HAIR: A bug blew on the ball as I -- are you talking about the second putt?

Q. Yeah.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I was lining up the ball, and when I was ready, set, and I was walking into it a bug flew on it. It was one of those love bugs. They were all over me this week (laughter).

Q. The difference as television pointed out between second and 11th place is about $750,000. Is that something you would think about now or even then?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, no. I'll make plenty of money in my career. I want the crystal.

Q. Obviously people look at 17 and say that's where you lost the tournament, but it sounds like either the second or third shot at 11 was actually where you believe was the big difference. Is that the one you would have taken back?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I don't think I lost it on 11. I think I lost the momentum on 11.
My opportunities -- I mean, 15 and 16 fall right into my bag. That's my area where I can make putts, and I feel confident with the putter, and I hit perfect putts on 15 and 16. You know, unfortunately I just misread it, and I think that's what predicted -- that's what made me do what I did on 17.
You know, if I'm one shot back, I do not fire at that pin, I do what Phil did, take a little 9 or -- he took a wedge, I think, and it almost spun back on the bottom tier. But he just played it smart like he should have. If I was one back, I probably would have done the same thing and taken it into 18 and see who's got it.

Q. Playing next to Phil in the heat of a tournament like this, do you take away anything useful from demeanor, anything, do you watch him hit shots?
SEAN O'HAIR: I didn't watch him at all today.

Q. When the ball is in the air on 17, where do you think it's going to wind up?
SEAN O'HAIR: I thought it was good. I mean, like I said, I hit a perfect shot. Right when it came off the club, I'm posing, and when the crowd screamed, I thought it was going to be a cheer, and it was a groan. That's when I knew. I was a little bit shocked and deflated.

Q. On TV they were talking -- especially after 17, is this kid going to be able to shake this off, that sort of thing. Do you feel this is something you have to shake off or is this part of the learning process or what?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think I can learn from this, and this isn't going to dictate anything. I think I will win this tournament.
STEWART MOORE: Sean, thanks for being a class act and coming in. We appreciate it.

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