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August 2, 2005

Sean O'Hair


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Sean, thank you for joining us in the media center here at The INTERNATIONAL. Why don't you start with some comments about what's happened to you since winning the John Deere.

SEAN O'HAIR: The John Deere, that tournament definitely gave me some confidence and learned that I think I needed to be a little more consistent and just kind of stay out of my own way. I've been able to do that. Last week was a good tournament, I didn't play as well as I would have liked the final day, but, you know, just the game is kind of coming around.

Q. What do you attribute that to, you talk about the John Deere, you win and you go to the British tied for 15th, come back last week and another Top 10, is there something in the game that changed?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think it's just more confidence, yeah, definitely, that, you know, I think you have to have confidence obviously to win out here on the PGA TOUR, but I think once you do so, it only gets better. The more confidence you have, the better you play; and the better you play, the more confidence you have. I guess it's a vicious circle. You know, I put myself in contention, I'm a little more confident and hopefully capitalize on it again this year.

Q. What are the biggest challenges and hurdles that a rookie faces?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think definitely just getting comfortable out here first. I think the awe factor is definitely a hurdle to get over, you know, because you're playing against guys that you've either idolized or whatever in your childhood years, and my big deal was Davis Love. You know, he was my boyhood idol. I think that's pretty much the big thing and just getting comfortable and getting a routine down and just getting it down to where you just go play golf.

I think a lot of the rookies, I know I had a hard time at first just, you know, forgetting the hoopla so to speak. It's still golf, it's still just go out there and play and forget about the distractions, and once you get comfortable and you're able to just go play and block out the distractions, I think that's the key.

Q. I know you told the story several times before, but can you just talk about the John Deere and getting to the British and the details of that?

SEAN O'HAIR: When I won, obviously, they said that, you know, "You're going to the British." I had that in the back of my mind, obviously I wasn't thinking about it during the final day. But when they said that, you know, obviously I thought, well, I don't have a passport and it was a matter of, do I want to go. And I did want to go. The main question was: What I was going to do with my family, were they going to go or were they going to hang back, and if I could get a passport in time.

And it just worked out. John Deere obviously had some connections in some pretty high places and they just did a great job. They really I said to them that I wanted to go and they just made it happen. It was awesome, yeah.

Q. Did your family go?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, they didn't. My family, they didn't have passports, either. It was just kind of a thing that, you know, yeah, we were eventually going to get one, but we didn't see a need for it. Then you go out and win and then you all of a sudden need one.

It was better, I think I've got a little daughter, five months old, and I think it was better for her to hanging back.

Q. Are you guys now in the process of getting passports?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah. (Smiling).

Q. Did you hear from the John Deere people who said that might happen that helped actual?

SEAN O'HAIR: Actually, a couple of guys, one, Decker, I don't think of his last name and who is the other guy sorry, I can't think of their names. But Decker was basically the guy who made it happen. And my father in law really was in contact with them, and they just did a great job. They put us on their jet to fly us to Philly, so I could go get my birth certificate so I could go pick up my passport. They definitely went the extra mile to get me there.

Q. Is this the first time that you've been here, your first time you've been in Colorado? How many times have you played out here?

SEAN O'HAIR: Not the first time. I've been out here before, mostly on just family trips. I've been out here a couple of times. I haven't played a lot of golf in Colorado. I think the adjustment is just going to be the elevation and hitting obviously a long way.

But it looks like a great golf course. It's a great tournament obviously. I think the fun thing is it's a family oriented tournament, so I'm really looking forward to this week.

Q. Support of fathers is a big part of a lot of players' lives and games; do you feel like that's a little bit of a hurdle, or it makes it a little tougher for you?

SEAN O'HAIR: Actually, I do have that. My father in law is that to me. To be honest with you, I just I don't really think about it much. I think the reason why I don't think about it much is that I have such a great situation now. I've got a great family, a great father in law who does a lot for me on and off the golf course, and has filled that void, I guess you could say.

You know, it's just something that you really don't think about. It's in the past, and it almost feels like another another life. So it's almost like it never happened to be honest with you. It has not really I think at the very beginning it was a big hurdle, but now, I mean, it's such a great situation. I just wish that everybody would have as great a situation that I do now. I mean, it's just great.

Q. Talking about the past, do you feel that maybe your example, your situation, can be an example for kids and fathers and little league fathers and that kind of thing?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I think it's very common. I don't think a lot of people know this, that it's common that parents, I guess you could say, get a little too involved or whatever.

The tough thing about it is there's a fine line between being supportive and being overbearing, I guess you could say. Because obviously being a parent, me being a parent, I mean, I want the best for my daughter. I'm going to do whatever it takes for her to have the best. But I think, too, you know, you also have to know when to let them make their own mistakes, let them learn on their own.

You know, I don't know if I'm so much an example to other people. I think that my I don't know, my situation, I think like what my father in law and I have, is a good example of how it probably should be. You know, he's obviously very supportive and he never gets down on me whenever I play bad. He'll kick me in the butt on the golf course, you know, whenever I'm daydreaming a little bit and he'll say, "Hey, look, let's get going here." But there's a difference in that and doing it in a negative way.

And, too, something else you have to look at is what kind of personality does the kid have. I mean, my personality is kind of a laid back, not so much a Type A personality. And so, you know, I might take a comment that somebody like a football father or whoever might think is kind of a kick in the butt, I might not take offensively. It's just a very fine line.

The only thing, I mean, I just think that parents should do is obviously want the best for your kids, and there comes a time that, hey, just let the kids have fun because that's what it's all about.

Q. What's your father in law's name?

SEAN O'HAIR: Steve Lucas.

Q. Are you still reading those Jack Nicklaus books?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's just, you know, he talks about playing and talks about it's like talking about how to a better player almost. It's not like the grip should be like this. There's chapters like that, but it's simple, it's a little more old school, and like I said, it just simple. But I'm going to start working with David Leadbetter, and I've worked with him before, and I'm just going to get back with him.

Right now, my swing feels pretty good. There's not a whole lot to change. I don't want to change really too much. I just think as far as the technique side, I kind of have an idea of what I want to get to, and it's just more of simplifying the swing a little bit.

Q. Is it that really make a big difference and do you really credit that?

SEAN O'HAIR: It definitely had a big play in it because I was, basically had no confidence going into I guess Wednesday night. I was so desperate; I just went and got those and just read a few pages of it and kind of got a few thoughts and away we go.

That felt good in the hotel room that night and I said, well, got nothing to lose, so go ahead and try it and just gradually snowballed.

Q. Last week your dad released a statement; did you read it and did it have any impact on you?

SEAN O'HAIR: Like I said, I've kind of put that on the back burner. Unfortunately it's I haven't read it and I don't plan on reading it, and, you know, that's another part of my life that I've dealt with already, and it would be stupid of me to bring that back in my life. You know, that really didn't have any effect on me at all.

Q. You talk about the awe factor in seeing Davis Love. What is it like seeing some of these guys that are twice your age but not only out are here, but playing pretty well, like Jose Maria, Greg Norman?

SEAN O'HAIR: It's a great experience. You know, I don't care if you are playing terrible as a rookie. It's such a great experience. I'm a big believer in who you hang around is who you become. And these are the best players in the world. You know, it's just, you can't help from getting better and learning from them.

I think that's the cool thing every week is that I learn from talking to veteran players or watching veteran players or watching, I think a great example, Sunday of last week, me playing with Tiger. I mean, you know, we all know how good of a player he is, and the thing is that he's a better person than he is a player, just the way he handled himself on the golf course. I don't think anybody understands, you know, what he has to go through every single day and how he handles himself is awesome.

So, you know, I definitely learned a lot about that Sunday, and you know, I might go play with like Tom Lehman in a practice round during a British, learned a lot from watching him and how he charts the golf course and stuff like that.

So when you come out here and you just look at it as, you know what, they are people too, just like you, and if you have questions, just go up and ask them. It's not like they are superheroes or anything. I mean, they are just regular people that do extraordinary things. Just walk up to them, ask them, and that right there makes you more comfortable. Obviously I was very nervous playing with Tiger, but I just he broke the ice, actually, on the putting green before we went out and played. He just said something to me and gave me a smile and just kind of loosened me up a little bit. You know, it's just there is an awe factor, I think when you first come out, but once you get to know these guys, it's kind of, you know, the guys are kind of hanging out and we just go play golf.

Q. Talking about overbearing parents what kept you playing golf, was it the love of the game or determination or what was it?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think it, you know, No. 1, there was something inside me that just wouldn't give up. I can't see myself doing anything else. This is what I wanted to do and whatever that was, love of the game or whatever, I just wanted to be out here. I wanted to be out here really bad and I wasn't going to really let anything get in the way. I don't know, that's just the way it was.

Q. Have you had a chance to meet Jack Nicklaus and have you had a chance to play with him?

SEAN O'HAIR: Unfortunately, no, on both. Hopefully that will change. You know, I think that like I played with Tiger for the first time last week, and you know, it's just a great experience. You know, you think that the first thought when I heard I was playing with Tiger was, honestly I'll be honest about it, oh, crap. But once I was out there and in the element and just kind of, you know what, this is just going to be a great experience, that was probably one of most fun rounds I've had.

And playing in front of that many people was I think how golf should be. You know, as far as playing with other great players like Davis Love and obviously Mr. Nicklaus isn't going to be playing out here too much, which hopefully somebody will introduce me to him or whatever, or maybe I'll play myself on the Presidents Cup, who knows, but, I don't know, I just look forward to playing with other great players like Tiger.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sean, for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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