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May 31, 2007

Sean O'Hair


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome Sean O'Hair to the interview room at the Memorial Tournament. You had a great opening round today, 65, eight birdies out there, one bogey. If you could talk a little bit about your round.
SEAN O'HAIR: I started hitting the ball well from the beginning of the day and just -- I think I birdied -- my first birdie was 3 today, and just right after that I really started hitting some nice quality golf shots. Hit a nice shot on 4, had a nice opportunity there, and then hit a great 5-wood into 5, two-putted for birdie there, and made kind of a little snake on 6 and then from there on I just kind of fed off the other guys. I think everybody else was playing pretty good in the group.
So it was just kind of a nice day where no one was really struggling, and I just felt like I hit most of the -- I was picking good targets and I was hitting the shots the way I wanted to, most of them.
I struggled on 15, I hit a bad tee ball. On 17, I hit a bad tee ball. But other than that, I hit the ball fairly well today.
STEWART MOORE: 26 putts, rolled the ball pretty good.
SEAN O'HAIR: I rolled the ball great. I felt like my speed control today was really good, didn't get too aggressive on the greens, which is when you get a good round going, you just want to keep going, and out there sometimes there's -- you can have a downhill ten-foot slider, and if you get a little aggressive, a three-putt can sneak up on you a little bit.
I think I did a good job just staying patient and I did what I needed to do today.

Q. How much fun is a round like this when you're playing well and birdies just happen? Can you describe that feeling, how easy it is?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's not like today, I was trying to go out and shoot 7-under par. You know, I'm just picking out my targets and trying to hit the golf shot. It's kind of the same thing at TPC, whether it's at the pin or 10 feet right of the pin or 20 feet right of the pin, you know, I'm picking out good targets and I'm hitting it there. Just got to be patient, and it was nice that the putts were falling for me today.

Q. You know you kind of laughed at the assertion that some people thought 17, two weeks ago, might leave a bad taste or a hangover in your mouth, given the way that played out. Was that such a crazy assertion for some people to have?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I mean, I think people --

Q. Might be a setback for you?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think people just look at the results on 17, they don't sit there and say, he hit the shot he wanted to hit. I stood up on that tee, and I was going right for the pin, and I hit it right over the pin and I felt like I hit the shot the way I wanted to, and I was shocked that it went in the water.
So it would have been different if I'm sitting there going for the middle of the green and I shove it way right and knock it in the water and choke, but I didn't. I hit the shot the way I wanted to hit it.
The tournament didn't end out the way I wanted it, but it was a great experience, and I felt like, hey, I can hit the shots when I need to. I think that says a lot, especially on that stage, such a big tournament, and playing against the second-best player in the world.
Whenever you -- when it's right there, you're hitting the shots that you need to, so --

Q. Was it too much club or did the wind lay down?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think maybe it was -- maybe I should have gone a little more left with maybe a wedge trying to feed on the hill there, right over the bunker. But that experience is my second at THE PLAYERS. I like the course and look forward to the future in that tournament.
They expect the 17th to be a negative. I played pretty solid for 70 holes, and that has no effect. When people ask me about it, it's two weeks ago. I'm playing today, I'm playing in the Memorial this week. So I'm going to try and win the Memorial.
I had a great day today, and I'm going to try and have a good day tomorrow and take it shot by shot, day by day.

Q. Do you think more and more of the players of your generation are taking that attitude about the plusses and minuses of golf? It seems as though they said, okay, well, I made a bad play; that's okay, I'll make a good play.
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I don't know what generation hasn't done that. You look at Nicklaus, I mean, Nicklaus never let a shot bother him. Whether he hit a bad shot or a good shot, he went and hit the next one --

Q. But Jack was the best player of his time. I'm looking at a broader spectrum of players that are playing that way.
SEAN O'HAIR: No, I think any guy who's good on TOUR does that. I think anybody does it.
I don't think it's any different. You know, I've worked hard -- I don't think it's a natural -- I don't know if I understand your question, but I don't think it's that type of attitude that's natural for a young player. I think you're maybe seeing more younger players take that approach. I guess that's your question?

Q. Yeah, it seems like they don't let the things bother them that might have bothered --
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I mean, like I said, I think any good player in the past has done that. I've never seen a good player or a major winner that's won on a consistent basis let shots or let tournaments or let bad holes bother them because I just -- I think that's such a big deal in the game. You know, it's such a mental, mental game. You've got to be in the present and into the shot that you're hitting.

Q. When did you reach that level?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I mean, I'm not there. I don't know if I'm there yet. I still have a lot of work to do mentally and physically, but you know, I'm getting better at it. But like I said, I don't think I'm there yet.

Q. With the course being dry, there seems to be a lot of good scores today, and I'm wondering if the humidity is slowing things up out there or what?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think it's softer than probably they want to play it. But like today, the sun is not quite out; it's kind of hiding behind the clouds. If the sun pops out and starts baking the course out a little bit, tomorrow I think will be a lot tougher. I don't think they're expecting rain. I'm not 100 percent sure.
But if the course gets firmer, this is a pretty good test of golf.

Q. Is this a course that almost the first time you stepped on it, you found comfortable? You seem to have always played well here.
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I like courses like this, Medinah, places like that, old-school, northeast-type. This is kind of my type golf. I love this stuff. This is what I play on when I'm home, like Aronomink, Merion, Pine Valley. This is what it's all about.

Q. Have you talked about 17 yet?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, you're late. Sorry (laughter). What's your question on 17?

Q. I just want to know what you did on it today, not two weeks ago.
SEAN O'HAIR: That was a trick question there.

Q. You should have gone to college (laughter).
SEAN O'HAIR: That's a good one. You know, I hit a bad tee ball. 15, I hit kind of the same tee shot with my driver. I felt like I kind of -- a little bit sweaty palms. It's kind of muggy out there, and I felt like I got a little handsy on 15. Same thing on 17, hit it in the bunker. I was thinking about hitting 8-iron out of there, but the lip on that bunker is pretty nasty.
I was trying to get a lob wedge out but try and get it down there to have a nice pitch up there for par. I was trying to get it up over the lip and I kind of got the club stuck and flared it out right, and it was lucky that it wasn't in the water or in the woods there. But I made a great bogey. I was just trying to get in the bunker and make an up-and-down and I made a nice putt. That was the only really mental error I think I had today.

Q. Was that the only bogey in the entire group?
SEAN O'HAIR: That was the only bogey in the entire group today. Yeah, I've never heard of anything like that. I apologized to those guys for making that bogey (laughter) because that would have been pretty cool, no bogeys in the group. I've never heard of that before in my life.

Q. I was just wondering, have you ever been able to put on weight? It seems like you look about the same now as you did in the pictures I've seen of you --
SEAN O'HAIR: I've put some weight on. When I came out I was 152 and I'm probably just under 170 right now. I've been doing a lot of protein shakes and steroids (laughter) and -- just joking.

Q. I just wondered, did you hear about Mickelson's injury while you were on the course or after --
SEAN O'HAIR: No, I did not.

Q. You don't even know about it yet?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, he withdrew? I didn't know that.

Q. He hurt his wrist.
SEAN O'HAIR: That's a shame, because I really -- I've got a whole new respect for him because he -- obviously he was focused on him and he had a tournament to win. But he said some pretty kind words about me and about my game afterwards when he really didn't have to. You know, that was nice of him, and you know --

Q. He said them to you or to the press in general?
SEAN O'HAIR: I mean, you know, his caddie, Bones, has always been nice to me, and Phil -- we had talked briefly in the locker room this week just for like five minutes, and he had some nice things to say, and I think he's a gentleman.

Q. What did he say if you don't mind sharing it?
SEAN O'HAIR: No. We had a nice conversation.
STEWART MOORE: Sean, thanks for your time. Best of luck this week.

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