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November 2, 2005

Sean O'Hair


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sean O'Hair, thanks fore joining us here at the TOUR Championship presented by Coca Cola. You won the John Deere Classic, almost two and a half million dollars. This had to be a dream season for you on the PGA TOUR. Start with some opening comments. Great first year for you.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's been kind of a dream come true, obviously, and definitely not expected. It's just kind of I think first just trying to get comfortable out here. You know, I think the first goal was just to get comfortable so I could play and was able to do that the first couple events, which was nice, and then had a good that good first tournament, Byron Nelson, and that really kind of proved to myself that I could play out here with these guys.

So after the Byron Nelson, it just kind of took off. I just started working on things I thought I needed to work on to win, and I thought that if I just kind of kept on course, I would win in the summer, and I did. I didn't do it when I thought I would. Obviously the John Deere win kind of came out of nowhere because obviously I wasn't playing very well. But it's just been a dream come true and definitely unexpected.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You finished tied for 10th last week at the Chrysler Championship on a difficult golf course at Innisbrook. Compare and contrast last week to this week. This is a tough but great golf course.

SEAN O'HAIR: Obviously both courses are very solid courses. I think that course really prepares you well for the tee shots that you have to hit here. Obviously this is a very demanding tee shot golf course and so was last week, and the greens were very difficult and fast last week. So same thing here.

They're very similar, and obviously the grasses are a little bit different, but as far as the layouts are concerned, they're pretty similar.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You're one of just a handful of players ever to play in the TOUR Championship as a rookie. Maybe some comments about that.

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, obviously it's pretty cool (laughter). It's pretty neat. It's a heck of a way to end a great year, and it's just an honor to be here. Nothing but positive things no matter what happens this week. I think I'm looking more towards enjoying this week instead of making it a stressful week, and hopefully that will help me play a little bit better.

Q. Where do you rank your British Open this year? I mean, coming off the John Deere, finishing Top 15 on a course that the old course never having seen it before. Talk about how that week ranks in your whole year.

SEAN O'HAIR: I think that week was probably the pinnacle right there. You know, a win is a win obviously, but to go over there with such short notice I mean, on Tuesday morning I didn't think I was going to go, and I left that night, and just to get there and play like I did, all of a sudden that is my favorite golf course I've ever played. The crowds and the atmosphere and it being Jack's last British Open, you know, Tiger winning, obviously that's going to be a highlight of his career. It just was an awesome week. Plus I played great. It just was a nice I think that was probably the best week of this year.

Q. Why did you like the course so much? I mean, did you know was it your first shot when you hit it and said "I love this course"? When did you get an appreciation for it?

SEAN O'HAIR: What I appreciate about it is there's no such thing as working on your swing or thinking of a swing thought. It's all just shot making. It's all feel, visualizing, and I think out here on Tour, every week you might get perfect weather and it's pretty much straight forward and it's all carry and it's all just beating straight balls down the middle of the fairway and hitting greens. But there was a lot of low shots, low cuts, low draws and really strategizing around the golf course.

So that's what I loved about it. And plus just the whole environment kind of topped it off.

Q. What was your favorite course before St. Andrews?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, obviously Memorial was great. That was a great venue. And then there was quite a few. Spyglass was pretty sweet. I like the Byron Nelson golf course. I don't know if people would say that's one of their favorite courses, but I just kind of liked the feel of that TPC. But I think all the TPCs that we played this year have been great. I'm a huge TPC fan. But St. Andrews and Spyglass and Memorial kind of are the three that I can remember.

Q. You were on the mini Tours last year. How did you make the jump from mini Tour golf to playing well in Q school and being here now?

SEAN O'HAIR: If I knew that, I would be a billionaire. I don't know. I mean, to be honest with you, I played on I've been a professional for six years, and I guess I paid my dues and learned a lot on the mini Tours. I think it's all just learning and playing well at the right time. Obviously I did that in Q school and got my card, and then it's the same game out here as it is on the mini Tours. Obviously it's a bigger environment. You've got a lot more things going on, a lot more distractions. But it's still a golf course and there's still a hole there that you've got to get the ball in the hole.

So I think it's just a matter of playing the same game. I mean, to be honest with you, I really don't know. At the beginning of the year I had gotten very comfortable out here. I think I was expecting at the beginning of the year to be quite nervous with the big crowds and playing against Tiger Woods and Ernie Els and all those guys, but I've gotten very comfortable with it. I guess that's the reason why I've played so well.

Q. What's your off season look like? Are you going to get a chance to take a break or are you going to cash in and play in some of these off season events that you probably finally are getting invites for?

SEAN O'HAIR: I'm going to spend the winter with family and enjoy kind of this year and reflect a little bit and try to find ways to improve and work. I'm going to take some time off and then try to get ready for Mercedes and hopefully have a bigger and better year next year.

I've been out on the road quite a bit. This is new for me, and I'm pretty worn down. I've played a lot this year, and I look forward to just spending some time with family.

Q. So there's no golf on the schedule?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, no tournaments. I think the next event is Mercedes.

Q. So many of us are used to like Tiger Woods's run basically since he's been a pro. We follow his chase of Jack Nicklaus's records and whether he's the greatest player of all time or Nicklaus is, but as a young player who's obviously talented, who's won out here, what are your goals as far as do you want to be the greatest golfer of all time? Is it a given that Tiger will be, or as someone in this generation, do you still say, "hey, I can be the greatest golfer of all time"?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think my goal is to be the best player I can be. Whatever that is, I'm not 100 percent sure. Obviously I've had a great year, but I'm not even close to what I think I can be, and I think obviously major championships are a focus. You know, I think as far as goals, if that's your question, my main goal has always been win the Grand Slam. That's obviously a pretty big goal, but I think I definitely can do it, and I've just got to put the right team together, which I think I have the right team together, and I've just got to keep working hard and hopefully things fall my way.

I definitely Tiger is obviously a great player and probably will be the greatest player ever to play the game, but I look forward to beating him in the Masters one day (smiling). There's a lot of things you know, I played with him a few times this year, and there's so many things you can learn from him, so many things you can learn from so many different players, and it just kind of shows you that no matter how good you think you are, there's always going to be somebody better. I think that's kind of a good thought process because it just makes you work harder and want it even more.

Q. After this great year financially, did either you and your wife go out and splurge on anything?

SEAN O'HAIR: Not really. I mean, we're living in a small home, and we had a baby obviously in February, and we decided that it would be smart for us to kind of move into a more family oriented home, and we did so after the Byron Nelson. I guess you could say I splurged a little bit. I bought a nice vehicle after the John Deere, and that's about it. I think that's about it, yeah.

Q. What kind of vehicle was that?

SEAN O'HAIR: It was a Mercedes.

Q. What class?


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sean, thanks. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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