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August 7, 2010

Sean O'Hair


LAURA HILL: Thanks for joining us, off to a good start with an eagle on 2. Maybe go over that hole and tell us how that kick started your round.
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, to be honest with you, I started off the round, I played with Rory today, and very impressive. He just stepped up to the tee on 1 and just nuked it right down the middle, and then he did the same thing on 2. I mean, really off the tee there I was just trying to keep up with him. I hit a pretty decent drive down the middle there and had a 3-iron in, and the pin there was pretty much front, but it was middle of the green and went right at it. Hit just a really good 3-iron to about, I don't know, 12 feet or so. Pretty big breaker, kind of one of those touch putts, big breaker left to right, and then just -- I guessed it properly.
And that kind of kicked off my round in a nice way. Made a lot of just solid pars and made a birdie on 9, which is obviously a great birdie, and hit some nice shots on the back nine. I can't even remember what holes I birdied.
12, the par-3, made a nice little 15-footer.
13, made a nice 22, 25-foot putt.
16, I felt like was a huge momentum -- I know it's late in the round, but it really kind of kept me going, and I think gave me a good feel going into tomorrow. You know, looking at a par-5, it was a tough pin position with that pin in the back. You only had five behind the pin. Very easily I could have hit it in the back bunker and made bogey, and I could have chickened out, and obviously ended up short and not make birdie, and I just went after it and hit a really nice shot. I thought that was probably the best shot of the day was that little wedge shot in there.
Made a nice up-and-down on 17.
Made a good solid par on 18.
So I was very pleased with the round today.

Q. Where did the ball pitch on 16 and where were you trying to pitch it?
SEAN O'HAIR: It pitched basically right where the ball ended up which is almost pin high. That's just one of those shots where it wasn't quite a full wedge. It was 131 pin, and top of my wedge is about 135. Obviously I'm hitting it a little bit farther because it's just warm out there, so I figured I had to take about eight off. But I had a shot on 10 where I had 123 pin, and I hit it right on the pin, and I kind of had a good feel for that shot. So I felt like, you know, under the circumstances I'm a little bit juiced up, I just felt it was the same shot I hit on 10, and it ended up working out well for me.

Q. As you get into this late in the year, how motivated do you find yourself when you look at the Ryder Cup standings?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I mean, I think as an American, any player, whether it be European or American, I think that's a huge goal of yours. I know it's a huge goal of mine every year to win a golf tournament and to be a part of the U.S. Team, whether it be Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. You know, I think it can definitely get in your way if you are trying to focus a little too much on it.
But yeah, I'd love to be a part of the team. I'd like to earn my way on the team to be honest with you. But we'll see. You've got tomorrow and a whole 'nother week after that. I'm playing some pretty nice golf right now, and I feel very confident that I'll make the team.

Q. There's quite a few Americans on the leaderboard. Do you think that Ryder Cup thing is kind of playing a part?
SEAN O'HAIR: Not really. I just think that you look at the guys that are up there, Ryan has played well this year, Kuchar has played fantastic, so I just think that they're just continuing their good play.

Q. I think it was a neck injury at AT&T that was bothering you or lower back?
SEAN O'HAIR: Lower back.

Q. I'm guessing that's completely fine now?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yes, yes.

Q. Was it just a muscle deal?
SEAN O'HAIR: It just was a strange thing. I've never really had an issue like that to be honest with you where I've had to pull out especially because of a back injury. If I have an injury, it's normally like neck or wrist or something, and it's just kind of a tweak thing. But that lasted for about two or three weeks and just kind of went away.
I didn't over-practice when I was home, and I stopped working out just to let it heal. But right now I feel fantastic, no issues at all.

Q. Who do you think the hottest player in the game is right now?
SEAN O'HAIR: That's a good question. You know what, I mean, there's so many of them -- I mean, what are some multiwinners this year?

Q. Ernie, Furyk, Bernard Langer (laughter.)
SEAN O'HAIR: I'll tell you what, that's a good point. Look at Freddie Couples, for instance. He's been right there. I'm going to get flak for this, but it's the Champions Tour, but still, those guys -- you've got to play some pretty nice golf to win out there. I think Freddie, definitely Ernie has played well all year. I definitely think he's a candidate right now for Player of the Year.
I mean, you've got a lot of hot players. You mentioned hot; you look at Matt Kuchar and Jeff Overton, I mean, they've played some solid, solid golf for the last few months. And for Kuchar, he's been playing well all year. I don't know if that answers your question.

Q. You might have said Westwood if he had been healthy?
SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, he's played some good golf, but I'm American, so I'm going to say an American. (Laughter.)
Yeah, he's played solid golf all year. You know, Phil, not quite -- obviously he's won the Masters and he's played fantastic, but I'd say Ernie.

Q. Can you say someone is a hot player when they haven't won a tournament?
SEAN O'HAIR: I think you can. I think you can. I mean, you look at a guy like Jeff Overton, I know he's disappointed about, what was it, two weeks ago -- was it last week? But what did he shoot, 3-under the final round? It's kind of hard to beat a 59.
I definitely think you can be a hot player. I think a win for him is right around the corner. I mean, to be hot, you've got to be in contention on a regular basis. Just because you win a golf tournament doesn't mean you're hot. Even if you win two golf tournaments, you can win two tournaments and not be in contention for the rest of the year.

Q. With as many low rounds as we had today, how does that bode for tomorrow do you think? There was a lot of movement today.
SEAN O'HAIR: I think movement is good. I mean, what's leading? Is 9 leading?

Q. Yes, 9.
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, and 7 was leading going into today. So the lead is not really changing that much. It went from 6 to 7 and then from 7 to 9. I mean, I know a lot of guys are going low, but the lead -- as far as the lead is not really jumping up that much.
I hope they keep setting it up the way they've been setting it up. I think if they make it playable for us, and obviously soft conditions out there so you can go after some pins, I think if you keep it in the fairway, the good scores are out there.

Q. Who's in it tomorrow? Let's say 9-under is leading at the end of the day today. Who's in it, 3, 4? How many shots back?
SEAN O'HAIR: Okay, gotcha, thank you. Yeah, I'd say 4, definitely 4, maybe even 5. You get another 59 out there -- a lot of people have been shooting 59s lately. I'd say 4-, 5-under par.

Q. What do you feel like you have to do tomorrow, and what have you been doing best this week, and what do you feel like you have to do tomorrow?
SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I think, number one, I've been playing some solid golf for a while now. I know my game is there, and I know I'm ready to win.
As far as what I need to do tomorrow, I need to start off the day ready to go. You know, it doesn't matter if you're in the lead or one shot back, two shots back. It doesn't matter. There's 18 holes of golf left tomorrow, and in my opinion, there's no leaders. It's just a shootout tomorrow. Whoever is going to win this golf tournament is going to be the guy that's going to be ready to play tomorrow and be on top of his game, and I think I'm definitely capable of doing that.

Q. Isn't it somewhat dangerous out there to see Rory scorching it and then you try to do it, too?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think that's a whole 'nother thing. I think to be ready to go and ready to play, you can't let other people affect how you're playing. You know, you can't let bad shots, you can't let other players, you can't let bad breaks affect, well, I'm going to play a little bit more aggressive.
You've got to go out there with a game plan and execute it. If you do that, that's really all you can do. And I think that's just one of the things that I've actually done in the past is I let other players dictate how I'm going to play out there, and that's a huge lesson I've learned.
Tomorrow I'm just going to get in my own little world and try and execute as many shots as I can perfectly and go from there.

Q. You talked about on the first two tees watching Rory bomb the two drives, being aggressive. Is this the type of golf course in the past that you would play aggressively or go after?
SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I don't think this is a course I would consider playing aggressive. I think this is a very precision-type golf course. The fairways are very soft, the greens are very soft, which I think this course normally plays pretty fast. So this year because of the soft conditions, I think everything is a little bit bigger. The greens are a little bit bigger, the fairways are a little bit bigger, and we can be a little bit more aggressive with some pin positions that you normally couldn't be.
But I think this is very much a golf course that you've got to hit a lot of fairways on. You know, even with the soft conditions, if you're in the rough, I mean, the rough is definitely penal enough to where you can't get after certain pins, and even being in the rough, I mean, trees are a huge issue here, and you don't really see that -- we don't play a lot of golf courses like that where you're in the rough or just in the rough and you've got an overhanging tree to where you can't even hit a shot to the pin.
So I think precision is a huge, huge thing that you have to do well here this week.
LAURA HILL: Thanks for coming in. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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