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August 7, 2008

Sean O'Hair


Q. How much did you learn about this golf course after the British Open qualifying last year?
SEAN O'HAIR: Quite a bit. I learned how hard it was. It wasn't as fast as this, but the rough was a lot thicker and a lot deeper than this. The pins were ridiculously hard. It's just one of those courses where you know you have to hit fairways and you know you have to hit greens, and you know, it's just one of those old-school, challenging golf courses where once you're on the green, it doesn't mean that it's over. You still have kind of a roller coaster on the greens.

Q. Does that give you any confidence coming into this week knowing you've had success?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think so. I find it pretty easy to let this golf course intimidate you. The first time I played it was the first time I saw it, and I played fairly well. I tripled my first hole, but I played fairly well, and I just think, you know, this is one of those courses where you kind of look at it, it's visually intimidating. The fairways are slopey, the fairways are tight, the greens are firm, the greens are slopey, but it's still golf. If you hit it in the right spots, you should be fine. Yeah, I think it helped me out.

Q. I know it's only the first round, but is the Ryder Cup in the back of your mind?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think like I say -- yeah, it's in the back of my mind. I really want to play on the team, but thinking about it would get in my way. It almost would make me try too hard to get on the team. So I think if I just focus on what gets me to play well, it will help me get on the team and if I do get on the team, it will help me play well in the Ryder Cup.

Q. Would you go through those last two holes; a bit of an adventure there, the last two?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I hit a really good 4-iron. I watched all three guys tee off on 17 when we were on 16 green, and every single one missed the green, and they all hit great shots. So just realize that I had to hit a high shot and my caddie and I were going back from a 5 to a 4 and he didn't think I could hit a 5 there and I just wanted to hit a high, soft 4-iron, and it just was a good shot. It just was a little right. So obviously I had a pretty wicked putt there. It was a pretty much impossible 2-putt unless I made the eight-footer.
18 is one of the hardest closing holes I think I've ever played. The tee shot is very demanding and then if you hit it in the fairway, you're going straight uphill with a 4-, 5-, 6-iron.
The whole course is demanding. It never really let's up. There's not like, you know, a par 5 where you've got driver, 4-iron or something, and it's very demanding. You've got to place your ball on every tee shot and you've got to place your ball well on the greens, and it just kind of never let's up.

Q. The drive on 18?
SEAN O'HAIR: It was just a bad drive. It's not hard to visually hit it. It's actually very easy because it's such a small spot to hit it.

Q. Nice to make the putt on 18?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, disappointing to hit the green on 17, you've got a 240-yard shot, you're hitting 4-iron, and you basically nut it, and you get to the ball and you've got no cut. The 3-putt, that was a little disappointing.
But it was nice to finish it off with that putt, kind of keep the momentum going.

Q. What was the distance?
SEAN O'HAIR: I don't know, it was probably 25 feet at least.
ZACH JOHNSON: Can you tell me about your shot on 18 and what you did there on your approach shot? What happened; did you miss it left or right, please?
SEAN O'HAIR: You tell me how you won the Masters and I'll answer the question. (Laughter)

Q. After the layoff, coming back, you seemed like you played better and you went to a different swing coach, does that give you more confidence coming in?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I haven't started playing well until Canada. I had a couple good weeks, Tampa and Bay Hill, and then Augusta was a pretty good week. But I've been very inconsistent this year and I just decided to make a change and got a little different information and kind of worked on it and it just clicked, and I'm playing well now and hitting the ball fairly well.
Today I felt like I didn't hit the ball very good, but I was able to get it around the golf course. I think if that happened maybe a month ago, I probably would have shot, you know, a few over par. So I'm happy with where my game is. I think it's only going to get better, too. I've been working hard all year and I think I'm working on the right stuff now, and you know, I'm excited about the rest of the year.

Q. Talk about missing that time in the summer, knowing you're trying to make The Ryder Cup and do different things, and to miss basically about a month.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I missed a month. It's disappointing, and it's disappointing first off because I missed the U.S. Open. Obviously the Ryder Cup is in the back of my mind, but like I said, if I play well, I'm going to get on the team.
You know, it just -- I think the tough thing is basically you know that you're not able to play and you're watching guys play every weekend and you're kind of throbbing at the mouth a little bit.

End of FastScripts

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