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September 25, 2009

Sean O'Hair


COLIN MURRAY: Sean, thanks for joining us, even par 70 today. If you could just give us a few opening comments about your round, and then we'll open it up to questions.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I thought I hit the ball overall fairly nicely. I think I hit it off the tee a little bit better than I did yesterday and didn't quite hit it as close. I think that was more due to some of the pins. The pins were tough today.
I think the difference between yesterday and today was just the putting. I made a lot of putts yesterday, and today I just didn't make hardly anything. It was nice to -- as well as I hit the ball, it was nice to finish with even par. You know, that was kind of the game plan on the back nine was just trying to get it back to even par or better. It was nice to finish off that way.

Q. Are you trying to incorporate the little tip that Tiger gave you the other day, or are you going with what's worked for you in the past?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I'm practicing it. You know, I'm practicing it, and then I'm going on the golf course and just not worrying about it too much. That's basically it.

Q. 17, great save there. Run us through there, how shocked you were by the chili dip, and then your thought process before he made the 20-footer.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, you know, I hit a nice tee ball, nice second shot. You know, I was actually fortunate that it stayed up there and not rolled all the way down. It was a pretty straightforward shot to be honest with you. The grain was against me, and I think that was what hurt me is I didn't think the grain was too much against me. That's why I chili dipped it. I just didn't come into the shot with enough speed. And then the grain just grabbed the club and obviously you saw what happened.
And then I just was pretty much just furious that I did that because it was a pretty straightforward putt. I think I was just a little bit more motivated to make that putt than I would normally have been.
It was nice to do that. I mean, that was a 20, 25- foot putt off the green that I've got to be sort of lucky to kind of pick the right line with the right speed and everything, and it was just nice that it went in.

Q. Did you like your tee shot in the air on 18?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I just started running because I liked it so much (smiling). No. It was 217 to carry the basic front, and it was 222 to carry the bunker on the left. I hit a 5-iron. Yesterday I tried to hit a high 4-iron, and the ball went forever. So today I was just trying to hit it in the center of the green with a 5-iron expecting it to get on top of that hill and taking a two-putt par. I pulled it, and luckily I hit it hard enough to where it carried. To be honest with you, I don't know how it carried and still stayed on the green. But it was just a nice break.

Q. With all the rain that we had earlier in the week, is the course changing somewhat day-to-day?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, not really. You know, the fairways are staying consistent. You know, they're rolling out but not rolling out too much, but the greens are just firm. I mean, the greens were firm on Tuesday. And I don't think they're getting any firmer, but I think the SubAir system is just amazing. No matter how much rain -- I think we're supposed to get a little bit of rain tonight and maybe a little bit of rain late tomorrow. I'm not really expecting these greens to really change too much. I mean, they might soften up a hair, but after Tuesday's practice round that I played, I mean, it was firm, and that was right the day after they got all that rain.

Q. How much different is it when you're a shot back heading into the weekend when it's a shot back of Tiger?
SEAN O'HAIR: I don't think it really makes a difference. You know, I can't play Tiger, I can't control what Tiger does, so why do I need to play him? I can't control what Padraig does. I can't control what Ernie does. The only person I can control is me.
My game plan is just to go out there this weekend with a game plan and execute it, and if I do that, that's all I can do. You know, I can't control Tiger from shooting a 62 tomorrow or whatever. You know, I don't know. The best job I can do is what I'm trying to do this weekend.

Q. It would be nice if you could, though.
SEAN O'HAIR: It would be nice. I think the only way for me to do it is to take a baseball bat to his knee, but I don't think he'd like that too much.

Q. He said yesterday he was coming after you after he helped you --
SEAN O'HAIR: That doesn't surprise me.

Q. When you won at Quail Hollow, how much did you take out of the fact that you won against a strong field, a field that Tiger was in or the fact that you started the last round three shots behind and one shot behind Tiger?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, you know, it's nice to -- that was probably the biggest moment for me in golf was winning at such -- number one, at such a great golf course that all players love; and two, with such a great field. You know, I think it does, it means a little bit more playing in a field like that and winning as opposed to playing in a field where the best players aren't in there.
You know, that was just a week where I really struck it nicely on a tough golf course, and I didn't putt it that great, but I didn't need to.

Q. And secondly, I'm not suggesting that you're paying attention to the points and whatnot as you're playing, but is it at all deflating when you see Tiger's name up there, not because he can't be beat this weekend but because he's probably not going to finish --
SEAN O'HAIR: I know what you're saying. You know, that goes back to kind of his question, that I can't control what Tiger does. If I win this golf tournament and Tiger finishes second, I'm not saying that's what's going to happen, but say if it did happen, I'm going to be throwing a big party and jumping with joy to be honest with you. If I don't win the 10 million bucks, I should have played better at Barclays.
So a win is a win, and that's -- I mean, to face it, I've got to win this golf tournament to win the $10 million. If I do my job, that's all I can do. And if Tiger does whatever he has to do for me to win the 10 million bucks, so be it.

Q. Do you think he would throw a bigger party?
SEAN O'HAIR: (Smiling) yeah, as long as he invites me.

Q. Do you think that the fact that you've been competing and playing much better through tournaments this year kept you calm through the middle of this round of golf a bit more than maybe a year or two ago?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think in the past when I first started playing on TOUR, my first couple years when I was in this situation where I'd get to be 1- or 2-over par and starting to kind of get -- I'm all of a sudden playing 10, 11, and the round is kind of closing, I'd try and force it. I'm shooting at pins where I shouldn't be shooting at, being a little bit more aggressive on putts that I shouldn't be, just more focused on speed. And I think now I just did a good job of kind of telling myself, hey, you're hitting the ball good, you're just not making any putts right now. Just calm down and do your job and trust the fact that I'm going to get my looks. I think that was kind of what happened today.

Q. In the lighter scheme of things, besides the party and all that, what would it really mean to you to win the TOUR Championship, regardless of the FedExCup?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, it would mean a lot. You know, I think this tournament represents the best of the best, and even before the FedExCup you get the Top 30 money winners that come here. You don't get in this field unless you play well all year. To win this event, even though it's only 30 players, it's the 30 best players in the world. And it would mean a lot. I mean, it would definitely be my best so far, and the five-year exemption would be fantastic, and the trophy is pretty cool looking, too.
COLIN MURRAY: Thanks, Sean. Good luck this weekend.

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