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August 1, 2008

Steve Stricker


LAURA HILL: Let's go over your scorecard, birdies and bogeys.
SEAN O'HAIR: The bogey on 5 was -- I don't know, I can't remember, sorry. That's probably a good thing.
7 was -- how about we start on 18? 18, I hooked it left. It was actually not a bad shot. I just kind of overdrew it, it hit a tree and got really lucky and it bounced on the right side of the fairway.
And then I had a perfect 6-iron to the pin and knocked it to about four feet, made the putt for birdie.
14, I hit a driver right down the middle and hit about -- it was a 9-iron -- no, excuse me, an 8-iron to about 30 feet, made the putt.
10, hit a nice drive down the middle, hit a 50-degree wedge, tried to just hit kind of a dead-hands wedge just left of the pin about nine feet, made the putt.
I can't remember the front nine, sorry.

Q. Did you change coaches?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I did.

Q. I heard. What was the force behind that? Who's the new guy?
SEAN O'HAIR: I worked with a guy like Steve Dahlby for quite some time. I've worked with him ever since I was about 13 years old on and off. It's not the first time I've left Steve, but sometimes I think with a coach, you just -- it's almost like with a caddie sometimes. You almost feel like no matter how hard you work with one another, you just don't feel like you're going anywhere. And sometimes you've just got to make a change. Not saying that I'll never work with him again, but I started working with Sean Foley last week, who's Ames' coach. He's got a lot of good stuff to say and approaches things a little bit different. He saw some things in my setup and my move to my left side with kind of my legwork, and basically it's taken the left side of the golf course out of play, and that's kind of been my nemesis this year.

Q. Was there something in particular about your game that you thought you needed to make a change just to rectify that?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, my ball-striking was terrible. Last year my ball-striking stat I think was like eighth in total ball-striking, and total drives was really good. And this year, I mean, I was 203 going into last week in birdies, just because I'm not hitting enough fairways and greens. And whenever I do, I've got a 40-foot putt for birdie.
So obviously the ball-striking really needed to improve, and I literally spent, I don't know, 30 minutes on the range with Sean and it was an immediate improvement.
Sometimes you just look at it and work with somebody for such a long time that it's kind of hard to see things, and I think that was maybe the case with Steve and I, and it just worked out that I picked the right guy to work with. And I think we're making some nice headway.

Q. Do you speak Canadian? I didn't know you spoke Canadian.
SEAN O'HAIR: I didn't, either.

Q. How much have you seen of Oakland Hills, and what are your thoughts about it?
SEAN O'HAIR: I've played it once. My first -- I guess the only time I played it was in a qualifier for the British last year. First hole I think I made like a triple or something and ended up shooting 3-under. I mean, I've got some nice memories. I made some nice birdies on the golf course. It's a very, very difficult golf course, and I just hope that they don't go too crazy with it because they can. It's one of those courses that they can let -- if they're not careful, it can get away from them a little bit.
But it's completely a ball-striker's golf course, and the greens, it's like a roller coaster. The greens are very undulating. So it's a very demanding golf course.

Q. Were you at all getting frustrated or feeling like you were spinning your wheels a little bit this summer?
SEAN O'HAIR: Sure. You know, after I won, I think it was like my sixth event of the year. I was like, all right, finally I'm starting off a year good. You know, I've always struggled starting off a year solid. And the summers have always been kind of the time where I catch fire, and I'm just not used to playing like I've been playing during my season.
This is when it gets hot and courses start playing tough, courses like Memorial and like this course, I play well at courses like this, and yeah, it's very frustrating, because I worked harder, probably three times as hard as I've worked in my entire life this year. That was one of the main goals that my caddie and I had is that we said, you know, we're going to have a good attitude and just work our tails off this year and see where it takes us.
And to be honest with you, when you're working hard like that and you're not seeing any results, if anything you feel like you're getting worse, it gets pretty frustrating.

Q. Could you kind of take us through the car accident?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. I was driving to -- what day was it, Thursday before the U.S. Open week, and I was going to go work out. I had a 7:00 a.m. with my trainer back at home. I just pulled out of my driveway and I was going down just kind of one cul-de-sac road that I live on, and when I pulled off that road, it had rained all night and it was wet, and I think the roads were just slick. It was a manual car and I just shifted maybe a little too quick and hit a pole probably going about 35 miles an hour. It just jumped right out in front of me (laughter).

Q. Did you spin when you shifted gears or something?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I just --

Q. What were you driving?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, the story is I had just learned how to drive a stick, and I --

Q. Is that the truth?
SEAN O'HAIR: That's the truth. And I had just bought a Mustang, and I just shifted wrong. But what are you going to do?

Q. You're going to hit a pole apparently. What kind of Mustang?
SEAN O'HAIR: It was a Shelby.

Q. So like the five-liter engine and the whole deal?

Q. Not to get into too much detail, but after you hit the pole what happened? The airbag deployed?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, well, I knocked the pole out, and some neighbors came running because they were -- you know, I stopped and said hello to a neighbor and I just was kind of talking. And then when we said goodbye, I pulled around and literally from the time I turned left, maybe 200 yards, maybe not even 200 yards, I hit the pole.
I think basically what happened was I just had -- I think I still had my foot on the gas a little too much, and when I let the clutch out, it spun the wheels and kind of went this way, and then it whipped around and it just happened so fast. Just one of those things.
I got out of the car, I started kind of just -- I was freaking out, I kind of was like, I'm okay, I'm okay, I'll be all right for the U.S. Open. And after I said that my neck started hurting, my chest started hurting, and then I went to the hospital, X-rays were fine.
The next day I flew to Taylor Made in Carlsbad and did a deal with them, and then I couldn't move.

Q. Chest, sternum?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I just had some fluid built up in my chest. There was no fracture or anything, just seatbelt got me.

Q. Jackie say anything to you?
SEAN O'HAIR: She said you're getting rid of the car.

Q. What was left of it?
SEAN O'HAIR: It wasn't totaled. It was fine. But I sold it (laughter).

Q. Which side of the car hit the pole, the front or the side?
SEAN O'HAIR: Dead on.

Q. Did you have to pay for the pole?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, insurance paid for it.

Q. Light pole?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, it was a power pole.

Q. So it was a concrete power pole?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, it was wooden.

Q. How long had you had it?
SEAN O'HAIR: Three days (laughter).

Q. The stick, five on the floor?
SEAN O'HAIR: It was six. It was a six-speed.

Q. Which speed had you gone into?
SEAN O'HAIR: I was going from first to second (laughter).

Q. Do you have a Volvo now?
SEAN O'HAIR: I've got an Escalade.

Q. How long did it take you to recover from the injury from that?
SEAN O'HAIR: A month.

Q. Soreness?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, just -- what happened was I think what they said was there was a lockup in the back of the spine with the rib, and when it locks up it makes the rib here move. And when that does, it inflames the ligaments there, and it just kind of, I guess, jolted it a little bit, and I just -- it took a while for it to get over it.

Q. Did that contribute at all to these issues you say you were having with your ball-striking?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, I was hitting a lot of crap before that.

Q. I came in just a little bit late, but how much is the Ryder Cup weighing on you?
SEAN O'HAIR: It's in the back of my mind. I mean, I'd love to play, especially for Zinger. I think he's going to be a great captain. He's kind of that go-get-'em type attitude, and I like that a lot.
But if I play well, I'll play in the Ryder Cup. If not, then a couple years hopefully.

Q. He's got a suped-up car, too, you know.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, and he's probably a lot better driver than I am.

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