home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 28, 2010

Sean O'Hair


MARK STEVENS: I'd like to welcome back our defending champion to the Quail Hollow Championship. If you'll start off and give some comments about coming back and how the course played this morning and then we'll take some questions.
SEAN O'HAIR: Obviously it's great to always be defending, and this is just one of those great weeks that I think as a tournament, it's not a major obviously but definitely kind of feels that way. You get the kind of field that you see in a major, and plus the conditions of the course are second to none. It's nice to be back on a track that you've played well at, and it's in phenomenal shape, so I'm looking forward to this week.

Q. Is it any different coming back as a defending champion? Do you get recognized more? Do you walk onto the greens and you get a different reception than say you got a year or two ago?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think during the practice -- at least today, there was a couple -- when you're signing autographs people asking you, hey, are you going to repeat, this, that and the other, which obviously normally doesn't happen.
But you know, it's just nice to -- when you're on the first tee when they introduce you that you're the 2009 champion is always fun.
But as far as feel is concerned, I like the fact that I've played well around this place, especially won, but I don't think it does anything for me for this year. I think it just -- this year is this year, and last year was last year. Just kind of trying not to talk myself into having too high expectations this week, just do my job this week and hopefully put myself in a position to win on that final nine. That's kind of my goal is just to put myself in position to have a chance, which would be nice.

Q. Were there any specific shots that fans bring up to you from last year that --
SEAN O'HAIR: No, but there was definitely some shots that I was remembering today. I didn't play a practice round yesterday, so today was my first practice round. And it just was nice to remember a few shots that I haven't really thought about in a while.
You know, I think I actually -- I started off the round 1-over the final round last year through like six or seven holes, and I had kind of a ten-hole stretch where I was 6-under par. It was nice to -- I actually kind of forgot about that until my caddie reminded me of it.
But it just was fun to get back out there and see how great the golf course is. You know, I know they've made some changes. I think the changes are really good. The bunkers look fantastic, and the condition of the place just looks phenomenal.

Q. I know you're one of the guys that is closer to Tiger than a lot of guys. What is it like having him back, and do you feel at some point that we'll get over all of this and life will go back to normal?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I think to the second question, I think you see a lot of these guys who have done worse things that -- I mean, Kobe is a good example. We don't really talk too much about -- you don't hear too much about kind of his incident. So I think to answer your question, I think eventually everybody is pretty -- I don't know if so much forget is the word, but move on, I think. I think he's great for the game. It's nice to have him back.
I think Tiger is a big reason why golf is where it's at. The TOUR has really exploded the last ten years or so with prize money and popularity and everything, and I think Tiger is the main reason for that. You know, we need our best player playing, and as a player and as a friend, it's nice to have him back. And I think once this kind of all blows over, I think it'll be good for everybody.

Q. Just as a follow-up to that, you mentioned Kobe. There's obviously other athletes that have gone through -- as you said, done worse things. Do you feel yourself that it was a bit overblown, the reaction to Tiger's infidelities?
SEAN O'HAIR: I don't think it was any of our business to be honest with you. You know, I think that was between him and his wife, and I think it was wrong how the tabloids kind of took control of the situation, because at the end of the day it's really not -- it's not like he broke any law. He didn't go out and rob somebody or kill somebody or anything like that. So I mean, as far as any outside influences, I just don't think it was any of our business.

Q. How do you measure a good year at this stage of your career?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think at this stage of my career, I definitely measure it by winning. You know, I think 2008 was a strong year for me. I think it was '08, yeah, '08. Did I win Tampa in '08? Maybe it was '07 where I was talking about, where I had a solid year but I didn't win. I can't remember. I'm getting old. (Laughter.)
But you know, I think I definitely -- if I even top-tenned it every single week, I would be disappointed not to win a golf tournament. That's a positive, and that's a negative. The positive thing about that is it pushes me to want to work hard, and it's a goal for me to work towards, but sometimes I put just way too much pressure on myself to do that. So it's kind of a double-edged sword there.

Q. Did you take that jacket home with you last year?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I actually have it in my closet.

Q. On what occasion have you taken it out to wear?
SEAN O'HAIR: Instead of a robe when I get out of the shower, I'll put it on. (Laughter.)
Every day when I'm home, to answer your question.

Q. You don't drive-thru Krispy Kreme with it or anything?
SEAN O'HAIR: I don't, no. I haven't done anything in public, but just when I get out of the shower.

Q. I'm trying to think, you would have been about 16 maybe at the 2000 U.S. Open. Do you have any recollections of Tiger's performance there?
SEAN O'HAIR: I do, I remember, I believe, the final round he didn't make a bogey; is that correct? And I remember I believe it was a 2-iron he hit on 6, the par-5 -- was it a 2-iron? Right over the trees. There used to be trees on the right there. It wasn't last day, it was during the tournament.

Q. 7-iron.
SEAN O'HAIR: It was a 7-iron, thank you. He took it straight over the trees, and I think he made eagle, didn't he? Or did he just make birdie there?

Q. He hit the green.
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, he hit the green. It was unbelievable. But I do remember that performance, and it just was very, very impressive. I think, what did he win by, 12 or 15 or something? That's not too bad.

Q. Where would you rank that in golfing achievements?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think that was more impressive than his win at Augusta. You know, he dominated Augusta. No one ever had a chance.
His game, if you look at his game in '97 and how he played that course, he took lines that other guys couldn't do. So it was not -- not saying it was unfair because the guy is obviously playing the same as we are, but it just was kind of like that whole course just set up for him perfectly.
U.S. Open I don't think there's ever such a thing where you can take lines that normal guys can't, you know what I mean, where you're overpowering the golf course. And in 2000 he just -- I remember him hitting a ton of fairways, and I think that's when he was probably, what, top 10 total driving, wasn't he, in 2000? And just that whole performance was, I think, probably the most impressive I've ever seen golf-wise. I think it might even be one of the best of all-time.

Q. Where were you at the time?
SEAN O'HAIR: Where was I?

Q. Yeah.
SEAN O'HAIR: Wow, I don't even know. 16 I was probably living in Arizona -- no, actually I was at the Leadbetter Academy.

Q. Were you guys watching and decided to do something else with your career or what?
SEAN O'HAIR: No, no. But it just -- I mean, you can't even say it's inspirational because you can't even fathom seeing yourself doing that to be honest with you. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But I've never visualized myself winning a U.S. Open by 15 shots.

Q. When did you first try to qualify for a U.S. Open?
SEAN O'HAIR: I was about 15, 16 years old.

Q. Just as a follow-up to the Masters, Phil obviously wins the Masters; the last three tournaments Tiger has played he's won, not just beat Tiger but won the tournament. Do you sense that he's though he's almost 40 that there's a lot left in this guy?
SEAN O'HAIR: In Phil? Oh, absolutely. I was extremely happy to see him win Augusta, and it was nice to see him enjoy it with his wife the way he did. I definitely didn't have -- my eyes weren't dry when I was watching that. I don't think you have a heart if you didn't have any tears on that one.
But I played with him on Tuesday at the Masters, and he didn't hit it particularly great. Obviously he whooped us -- I played in a match with him, Hunter and him versus me and Dustin, and we got just stomped. But his attitude was just incredible. I mean, he was very calm, and he just had his stuff together. You could tell he had a game plan. He even talked to me a little bit because I was kind of down on myself a little bit, and he kind of was trying to get me up as far as up in my spirits, and some of the stuff he told me just -- I knew he was going to have a good week that week because mentally he just was there.
You know, you don't need your best stuff to win a golf tournament if mentally you're there. And I think that's what you see with guys like that, like a Phil or a Tiger, is that mentally they just -- they get it. They can almost talk themselves into playing well when most players almost talk themselves into playing bad.
To answer your question, I definitely see him -- I don't think that was his last major by any stretch.

Q. And do you see more so now that he's getting to that kind of Tiger level, and obviously Tiger has gone through a lot of issues over the last few months and isn't as sharp as he may have been. But do you see them now sort of closer?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I don't know if there's such a thing as -- that's a tough question because I don't want to step on anybody's toes here, but when Tiger tees it up, he's top-tenning every event. I don't think there's anybody else that does that. I know Vijay was doing it at his peak for those few years, but when you're looking at Jim Furyk, who's won twice this year, or Phil, who won the Masters, you look at their performances this year, they have not top-tenned every week. And you look at Tiger, for instance last year, pretty much every time he teed it up, he's top-tenning. And then he didn't play one event since Thanksgiving, and he shows up at the Masters with no prior preparation as far as a golf tournament and finishes fourth and is obviously disappointed. That's a whole 'nother level.

Q. Is that pretty amazing to you?
SEAN O'HAIR: It's amazing to me. It's amazing to me. I mean, basically if I was in that position, I mean, making the cut is a positive week. And he just -- his expectations are completely different. I mean, honestly if I was in his head, I don't know if I could really comprehend some of the things that he maybe thinks about. It's just different. You know, it's just different. And that's him. That's what makes him him. So there you go.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Sean. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297