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November 2, 2007

Sean O'Hair


STEWART MOORE: Sean O'Hair, thanks for spending a few moments with us. 10 under par, through two rounds, shot a 66, you've been playing fantastic carrying into this week. What's really been working for you so far this Fall Series?
SEAN O'HAIR: I've been working really hard, I think, number one. I've got Paul Tesori on the bag now, and that's kind of helped me a little bit. Just kind of, I think he makes me work a little harder. Kind of almost got a new energy a little bit.
You know, I was playing good up to I guess, New York, Turning Stone. And I don't know. Just played well, got some confidence, and started working a little bit harder on the right things. And all of a sudden, I feel really good about my game.

Q. I know Steve provided a different comfort level for you as you sort of got your platform under you out here. And Paul's played in this league, and probably has a totally different viewpoint. As a player rather than a parental person. Is that an important distinction, I guess?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think it's different. Steve knew me as a person, and he did know me as a player. He was helpful, very helpful, and he was good for me.
Steve's main reason for being out here was just to, you know, for comfort level. You know, I think being young and I've never been in this situation before, there are a lot of things that are distractions, and he just was there to, I think, kind of keep me going forward, and he did a great job. And he actually became a pretty darn good caddie, too.
But I think for me to get to that next level, I probably it was just time for me to move on. Not saying that Steve was holding me back, he hasn't holding me back at all. I think I needed somebody with a little more experience, and Paul definitely has that experience.
I mean he's worked with the best player in the world at one point, Vijay. And I think Vijay's rubbed off on him a little bit as far as work ethic.
STEWART MOORE: Which could be bad (laughing).
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. So I'm definitely working a lot harder than I've ever worked before. And he's just got a good eye. If I get a little bit off sometimes I would maybe question certain things, it's not what I think it is, and he can see it. Whether it be tempo or whatever, he can see that and tell me, and it's good feedback. Because then I can go to the next shot and just do whatever he tells me to do and hit a good shot.
It's not like Paul's telling me what to do. It's just that he's almost another set of eyes, and he's just got that experience that I need.

Q. I was on the shuttle bus with him the other day. He mentioned that he bit his lip for the first couple of weeks with you. And you've been having this trouble getting the ball in the hole, which I'm sure you would admit. And he gave you his ten cents worth, and you guys monkeyed around with your putting stroke a little bit. And lengthened the back swing and shortened the follow through which is kind of the opposite of what it was?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. You know, I've always been a really good ball striker, just not a good putter, my stats show it. You know, three putts and my ranking has never been better than 140th on tour as far as putting.
So putting was holding me back, and he helped me out with my stroke. He noticed I had a very long, my follow through was very high, and it just, you know, I'd push, I'd pull putts. There was no consistency there.
He just said one thing he's seen from really good putters, it's almost like they pop the ball a little bit. And continues like the old days with Arnold Palmer where they had the wristy jab or anything like that. It was just really a very low, short follow through. Some of the best players in the world, you know do it.
So I started messing around with it, and he showed me how to. He helped me out a little bit with changing my grip, and I made my putter a lot more up right. And I started working with light hands and getting a longer back swing, shorter follow through, and I started rolling the ball really, really good. We changed that in Scottsdale. And it has been good everybody since. I think this week has been my worse.

Q. You got five in a row?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, this week's probably been the worst week as far as my putting is concerned out of the last three weeks, just because of the greens. I'm struggling reading the greens. But I don't think I've ever rolled the ball as well as I am now.

Q. Is it possible that the Fall Series could completely change your outlook on the year?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think so. You know a win would be nice. A win would be good. I'm not going to put that pressure on my self but a win would be really nice.
I haven't won in over two years so that is something when I joined the Tour, that is something that I wanted to do every year is win. Not too many guys can say that they won every single year they were on Tour. Obviously, I can't say that, so. It would be nice to say, you know, hey, I'm 25 and I've got two tour wins or whatever. It just would be nice to do it.
But for me, as far as looking over the year, it's almost kind of for me it's the year that could have been to me. I played much better. You know, forget the West Coast Swing, that was just a headache because I wasn't ready to play.
But starting on from Bay Hill on, I made my '05 season look like last year for me. Last year was a disaster for me. But I've played so good and there's just one or two holes, especially coming in, that have just killed me.
The perfect example is obviously Players. But last week the week before, you know, I've probably, I don't know how much money it's cost me. I don't look at it as money, but I look at it that it's probably cost me -- I didn't play good enough to win the Players, but I definitely should have gotten second there.
But I played well enough to win, I think, one or two tournaments this year, and I haven't done it. Whether that be experience, whether that be just a matter of I need to put myself in that position more often, you know, it's yet to be determined. But I just think that at least I've put myself in those positions. And I think I will learn how to close it eventually.

Q. How different does it make you feel with the other 13 clubs where with the 14 club you're actually seeing it going in the hole? Did you follow me there?
SEAN O'HAIR: No. Did you follow him there?

Q. If the putter's working?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, yeah.

Q. He has to usually interpret for me. Does it make it easier.
SEAN O'HAIR: Much, much easier. I think what was last week, the Ginn? There was one week I putted really good. And I didn't hit the ball that great, and I finished really well. The last two weeks it all runs in, you know.
But Tiger's a perfect example of it. Tiger and Phil, the best players in the world, Tiger can go out there and win with his D-game. Which is kind of scary. But he can win with his D-game if he's putting well. It doesn't matter where he hits it. Doesn't matter how bad his iron play is.
Normally when he's putting it well, he's always wedging it well. But as long as Tiger's putting well, he can win any tournament on schedule, And that goes for the best. Vijay, Phil, and any of those guys, Ernie Els.
And I hope to be one of those guys in a few years. I hope to get my game to that point. And I think I have the ability to. But I've got to work a lot harder, and do a better job of putting myself in the situation to win more often so I can gain that experience that those guys have.
I don't think anybody will ever be as good as Tiger. I think he's greatest, period. But I think I could be one of the best players in the world, eventually.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
SEAN O'HAIR: Turning Stone. He's given me a few things. I try not to get too crazy with what other people do. But I just like the stories of his work ethic. I think Vijay's got the best work ethic ever. He's probably the hardest working player.

Q. No matter how hard you work?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, he just outworks you, and that's why he's great. Obviously, he's talented. I don't feel like I've outworked anybody, but I feel that I'm outworking my own self. That's why I think it's kind of got me going a little bit.

Q. Scott Verplank said something a minute ago. If you look at the top two names on the leaderboard, they're separated by about almost $3 million in earnings this year, and one stroke in the tournament. Does something like that matter?
SEAN O'HAIR: Who is leading? I don't even know.

Q. I'm referring to Verplank, and a guy like Tag Ridings.
SEAN O'HAIR: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah.

Q. So the question is how hard is that? And frankly, I don't know if you've been in this kind of position in your youth here. But how hard is it to win when you've got other activity going on in terms of trying to win for the first time? Trying to keep your card? Trying to get under 150 or 125?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think it's difficult, but that's part of the game. There are so many different scenarios. We're normal people, and we have normal problems. Whether it be family issues, somebody passes away in the family. Whether it be trying to keep your job. Whether it be trying to win for the first time. There are so many different things that we deal with on a daily basis that you've just got to accept the situation that you're in and focus on shot to shot.
It sounds, you know, typical thing you hear every single day, but it's so true. If you're focused on winning on Friday or Saturday, you know, even Sunday morning, if you're focused on winning, you're not focused on what you need to be focused on.
And, you know, I think you've just got to take it shot to shot and play the game and count the shots at the end of the round, really. That is the best way I can explain that.

Q. You're here primarily for a Masters bid, fair to say?

Q. Is that kind of the threshold for you?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think the first goal would be, you know, a win would be nice.

Q. Are you thinking about it right now?
SEAN O'HAIR: I'm not going to try -- you got me on that one. You know what, Masters, yeah, that would be great. I missed that this year, and that wasn't fun.
STEWART MOORE: Sean, good luck this weekend, thanks for coming in.

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