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March 27, 2009

Sean O'Hair


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Sean O'Hair to the media center. Sean is at 8-under and has the lead after the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. If you'd just start off and give some general comments about your round and your thoughts going into the weekend.
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, obviously I hit the ball really well. I think the driver really set my round up nicely, just wasn't too much drama off the tee, which was nice. You know, I felt like obviously if you're swinging the driver nicely, you're probably going to swing at the irons nicely. So just gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie, and like I said, there wasn't a whole lot of drama as far as trying to make par saves and whatnot. And if I did have a par save, I just did a good job of kind of keeping it simple and giving myself some short putts for par.
Overall just, I think, I did everything fairly well today.

Q. Most of the people that came through this morning said that it's getting tougher and harder and the great thing was no one was probably going to go real low and separate from anybody. Did anyone talk to you about that (laughter)?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I don't know. I think if you just play, keep it in play, which I think is definitely -- you're able to do that out here. Obviously if you're hitting it sideways, and you don't really even need to hit it sideways, just a little bit off here and there, you know, you're giving yourself some pretty tough par opportunities obviously because the rough is so thick.
I felt like I actually hit a pretty decent drive on 9, just a little bit left of where I wanted, and I thought I could get away with it, and obviously I had no shot to the green and was only like 150 to the front edge.
I think the rough is very penal, but if you're in the fairway all day, you don't have to worry about it. Then the greens are absolutely perfect. You just give yourself some nice opportunities, and all of a sudden you're 8- or 9-under par.

Q. What was your hangup on the 9th? Was it the tree or was it the lie?
SEAN O'HAIR: It was the lie. The lie wasn't good enough. The tree wasn't that bad. I felt pretty comfortable just leaving myself a little pitch shot in there, and I mis-hit the pitch shot, I kind of fatted it a little bit, and I got fortunate because it kind of stumbled forward for me a little bit and gave myself a nice opportunity to make par and hit a good putt and just went the wrong way.

Q. You won under tough conditions in Palm Beach Gardens and you had a good PLAYERS Championship a couple years ago. Is it as simple as the fact that you've played a lot of golf here on Florida courses in the wind, or are you pretty good on courses -- you think you're getting pretty good on courses where par is a pretty good score?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I've always been a fan of -- all my junior wins have been on tougher golf courses. I've always seemed to feel more comfortable on tougher golf courses, where you don't have to feel like you've got to shoot 20-under par to win the golf tournament. I've always been a good wind player, just because I'm from west Texas, so I'm used to wind. Florida is like nothing compared to Texas.
You know, I'm very comfortable playing in Florida. I've lived here for a little bit and played a lot of junior golf here, especially at this golf course, and it's a place I feel very comfortable.

Q. Could you put a ballpark figure on how many times you've played this course?
SEAN O'HAIR: About 20. I mean, above 20. You know, with practice rounds here and playing here and then obviously as a kid -- I probably played here as a kid at least ten times or so. I used to come here with Ty Tryon. He was a member here and I played with him a little bit. Yeah, it was good.

Q. What were the guest fees?
SEAN O'HAIR: Zero (laughter).

Q. You're expecting baby No. 3?

Q. Fired up about that?

Q. That's three in a span of what, five years, four years?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. It seems we don't have a problem getting pregnant, let's just put it that way. Yeah, with this one, we really wanted a third, and I always wanted just two, and then right before we got pregnant I just told Jackie I kind of miss a baby and having a baby because my daughter is growing up on me, and my son's age right now is one of my favorite ages, but yeah, I'm really excited. I think it's going to be fantastic.
It's a boy, so we'll have a lot of testosterone going in the house, which is fine. I'm really excited. She's due in June, so hopefully he either comes before the U.S. Open, the week before the U.S. Open, or the week after. He's due the week after, but I'm sure that probably won't work in my favor.

Q. Did your daughter get some TV time out there?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, my father-in-law called me up and just said, "Hey, Molly was on TV today." I'm like, "Why?" She was on the range with me yesterday, and it was the first time she wanted to go with dad and watch me hit balls, and then she didn't want me to have all the fun, so she wanted to hit a few herself.
It was good. I'd love for them to play golf. But obviously I don't try and push them too much. They're so young anyway.

Q. If you don't have any trouble getting pregnant, have you ever thought about aiming for maybe late October?
SEAN O'HAIR: I'm trying to do the math. I think I've only done it three times and gotten pregnant every single time (laughter).

Q. Was there anything or any particular putt, the way you describe it, it was just like a good workmanlike round but your score is extra special?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think the thing was I did a really good job of -- I played really well on the front, and I just did a good job of staying in the moment and not getting worked up or antsy or looking at a scoreboard, so I just really stayed in my own little world today.
I knew I was playing well, and I just felt like if I just went through my process well and if I just followed my routine properly then everything was going to be fine. And on the greens I just felt very comfortable and I just was trying to hit good putts. If they went in, great; if they didn't, then you tap it and move on. It was just one of those days where I just was very calm and the golf game was there, which was nice.

Q. New teacher during the off-season, correct?

Q. What have you guys worked on and what, if anything, have you changed and how is that translating to what you're doing on the course?
SEAN O'HAIR: Basically changed a lot. I mean, we've changed the setup, changed the backswing, changed the backswing, changed the follow-through.

Q. Okay, what else? (Laughter.)
SEAN O'HAIR: It started in Canada of last year, started working on my setup and my leg action in Canada, did that for the rest of the year, and then this off-season we really worked hard on my backswing and tried to get a little bit deeper, tried to change the arm plane and the shaft plane. It seems a lot more complicated than it really is. It's just beating a lot of balls and doing a lot of thought about it.
You know, I think the thing is Sean, my coach, really explains things well and explains why things work and why things don't. So for me this off-season I actually really didn't practice that much. I probably practiced the least I ever have, but I did a lot of mirror work, I've thought about it a lot, I've talked to him on the phone a lot, and I came down to Florida to Orange County National and worked with him like twice.
But I didn't physically hit a lot of balls. If I did want to hit balls, I just did it in my golf studio.

Q. How did you guys meet?
SEAN O'HAIR: He was working with Stephen Ames at the time, and we've done a lot of talking, and I've known Sean for a while. But when I felt like it was time for me to move on, he was the first guy I gave a call to, and obviously the first week we worked together I got a third in Canada. So I saw some quick results, and I've never really hit the ball the way I did in Canada before that. So it kind of proved to me that the guy knew what he was talking about.

Q. Sean what?

Q. What's your studio look like?
SEAN O'HAIR: It's just a big addition that we put on like two and a half years ago, three years ago, and there's a net, two cameras, I can put a third over the top. It's got obviously a mat, it's got a computer and software and stuff that I can play it back and do the plane lines and all that stuff. Then I've got some TVs so when I'm hitting balls I can just basically look at the TV in front of me and I can see both angles, so it's a split screen deal, which is pretty cool. And then if I'm hitting balls in the net, behind me I've got a putting green, and when I first was designing it, I wanted my gym and my putting green and the golf hitting area in that one addition, but the net turned out to be a lot bigger than I thought, so I just have room for the putting green.
It's still kind of under construction. I want to put a bigger putting green in there, but it's nice. I mean, if you want to go in there and hit some balls, I can spend hours in there, and the nice thing is there's no door from the house into the room, so the kids can't get in there and all that stuff.

Q. Do you have to build another room now for the kid?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, they've got plenty of space down stairs.

Q. What do you anticipate for the weekend, because there could be some weather changes.
SEAN O'HAIR: Honestly I don't know. To me honestly I'm going to -- I'll probably look at the weather forecast tonight for tomorrow, but right now I really don't care, just kind of go do my drills and go hang out with the kids.

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