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July 26, 2005

Sean O'Hair


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sean O'Hair, thanks for joining us. A great couple of weeks, winning the John Deere Classic and heading over to Scotland and finishing tied for 15th in The Open Championship. Can we just start with some opening comments? Obviously a great couple of weeks for you.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's been unbelievable, actually, you know, from the win. I haven't really been able to enjoy it much. And then I obviously had trouble going out to the British and had an unbelievable week there, as well. Kind of surprised myself a little bit because not because I don't expect myself to play well in that tournament, but just because of the conditions, getting there so late and everything was kind of working against me, which might have been good, you know; who knows. It's been awesome.

I took last week off and I was able to kind of enjoy it and take some time off which was I think well overdue. It's just been phenomenal. You really don't understand until you win what it's really like, your life pretty much changes. It's just been a dream come true, yeah.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Starting the season, I'm sure your primary goal was to get your PGA TOUR card for the following year, which would mean having a good season. Now that you've won almost around $2 million, have you changed any of your goals? I know the Presidents Cup, you're slowly moving up in the standings and Top 50 in the World Rankings is going to help you play in some of the World Golf Championships events. First, talk about that, playing in the Presidents Cup, if the cards fall for you in the next three or four weeks?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I couldn't imagine that. That would be awesome. That's definitely something that I'm going to have to play some pretty spectacular golf I think to either be a captain's pick, which I would not think I would be a captain's pick. If I was going to get in the Presidents Cup, it's going to be me earning my way into it, which is pretty much the way I'd like it.

But I'm going to have to play some pretty good golf to do that. I think I probably have to win another one and probably finish pretty high in the rest of the events. I don't even know when the cut line is at after the PGA? Yeah, so, I'm going to have to play some pretty spectacular golf. But, you know, it's always possible. I mean, you never know. I've got a lot of confidence with my game and just a matter of not really not going to be thinking about it too much.

I just feel, like I keep saying, I want to improve each week. I'm still a rookie and I'm still learning something new every week. I'm just trying to learn every week, so, you know, I just keep on getting better and better. So that takes me into next year and so on.

But as far as like coming ranked in the Top 50 in the world, that's kind of cool, especially when I started I don't even know where I started the year. I don't even know if I was ranked. I think things are going to change for me quite a bit playing in the bigger events and playing a stronger field, and that's only going to I think make me a better player. We'll see where it goes from here on to the end of the year.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Were you able to bump into Jack Nicklaus over in Scotland?

SEAN O'HAIR: Unfortunately not. I would have loved it but he probably had a lot bigger things on his mind. But I definitely stopped and watched him. I saw him on the golf course quite a bit. That was something that was really, really cool experiencing because, you know, obviously I wasn't any part of his last British Open, but he was part of my first one, so I'll always remember that. He, I think, had a big part in my life, even though I had never met him, and I think that's the way with everybody else. He's such an icon in the game and it was just awesome to experience that and that's something that I'll always treasure. Especially for my British, my first British and my first major that, was pretty special. Hopefully one day I'll bump into him one day, we'll see.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Maybe Presidents Cup.

SEAN O'HAIR: Maybe Presidents Cup.

Q. Guys always talk about when you win, it's a life changing experience, is there something specific that jumps out, job security, seeing the hard work way off, is there one thing?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think the fact that you know what's going to happen. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when it's going to happen. And it's just kind of, you work so hard, and I think the cool thing about it was, is I thought that was probably the last thing on my mind starting the week. You know, I felt so unsure of my swing and unconfident with the way things were going Wednesday before the tournament. Just kind of was, like I said, I was reading some of the Jack Nicklaus books and I got huge swing thought ideas and tried them and they worked and they are still the same ideas I'm working with now. It's more of, I was panicking before the tournament a little bit. I was trying a bunch of new things I shouldn't have been trying. And I know my swing, I just kind of needed some guidance and that's what I got.

But, I don't know, there's just so many emotions that go through your head. I think No. 1 is just that your hard work has paid off because I think myself and my family, I've sacrificed a lot, put a lot of time into this dream, and obviously job security is great, but that's something that you don't think. I definitely want to be I mean, everybody else, me and everybody else out here on Tour, want to be one of the best players in the world. You know, my goal is just to be the best player I can be, whatever that is, which I think I can be out here for a long time and I think I can win a lot of tournaments. It was just a lot of emotion and it's great having my family there, it was one of the special things that my family was there so I could enjoy it, especially with my wife and my baby.

Q. A lot of these courses are probably new to you, so is it tough to play these courses you've not seen before, or does it not matter when you're playing really well?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, it's definitely a disadvantage. Some of the other players have been out here for such a long time playing these golf courses year in and year out. But, you know, that's where the practice rounds come into play and you just try to do a good job of charting the golf course where, it hit it and where not to hit it can charting the greens. I think the greens are probably the hardest things. You see the veteran players out there making a lot of putts, probably because they know the greens and they know the hidden tricks for the golf course, if there is any.

You know, I don't think I've ever experienced in the years that I've played golf, I haven't really experienced playing the same golf courses over and over and over again, so I'm kind of used to it. So, you know, it doesn't really bother me. I'm obviously looking forward to the years coming where I'm going to know the golf courses. By next year, I think probably I will play in the same places and I think that's going to be something interesting playing the courses that I already know how now. But it's eventually nice to just have that variety and it's just kind of feels good that I don't know the courses and I'm playing well, on the courses that I don't know.

I don't know, right now, it doesn't really bother me much.

Q. How does this course set up for you?

SEAN O'HAIR: This course is awesome. You know, it's very soft, obviously, and I think it's going to get softer because I think we're expecting some more rain. I think it definitely plays into a long hitter's hands. You've definitely got to hit the tee ball straight and long. You have some scoring opportunities. The greens are phenomenal, they are very quick, very smooth, and unless something strange happens, I think it's just going to be, you know, basically like throwing darts out there, because, I mean, the golf course is so wet.

I'm excited to play. It's a great golf course. There's nothing hidden about it. There's no tricks about it. I think it's just one of the few golf courses where it's just golf, it's straight out in front of you and you just have to play well and that's what I like.

Q. How many tournaments are playing this year and what brought you here?

SEAN O'HAIR: I'm not sure how many events I'm going to end up playing this year, but I think my plan at the beginning of the year was to play as much as I can, so I can kind of pick and choose next year; you know, what courses fit my game and what venues are like and what venues benefit my family.

This tournament I heard the golf course was just great and it's obviously a great tournament, it's a great sponsor, so it's a big event. It's got a great field. It's kind of, you'd miss out a little bit missing this tournament. That's why I'm here. I'm planning on playing quite a bit. I'm not really going to slow down much. I like to play a lot and I'm young and I should probably play a lot.

So next year, I'm not probably I'm probably not going to play as much as I did this year, unless something happens like I get injured or something, I'm always going to play quite a bit.

Q. You mentioned your family, can you talk about what having them out here means to you and how important that is?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I always say the support system is so underrated. I think if you look at everybody out here who is succeeding, they all have good support systems, whether it be friends, whether it be family, whether it be their dad, their moms or their wives or whoever. They have a great support system. I think Tiger is a perfect example. He's got a great family. Obviously he's newly married. He's got a great situation there.

I don't know, with my situation, it's just nothing but positive. I've got, you know, a lovely wife who does nothing but support me, and she's basically my best friend and I'm her best friend, so that's awesome. Then my father in law, he keeps it very light and he's always looking out for me as far as personally and business wise. I've got a great support system and I think that's half the deal right there.

You know, I think the reason why everybody is out here is because they have a lot of support. I couldn't see being able to come out here and succeed without support. I think that's one of the most important things as far as I'm concerned. That's the difference I think for me to now from like maybe a few years ago.

Q. Your family, do they come with you to any events?

SEAN O'HAIR: As much as they can. Obviously at the British they didn't come. My father in law always travels with me because he's my caddie. I try to get them out here as much as I can. I mean, I just like being around my family and it just makes me comfortable. Plus, why wouldn't you want be around the people that you love? I don't know how it's going to work whenever my daughter starts going to school. That's going to be a little bit of a tough situation. Right now, it's just, it's awesome.

Q. Obviously things are going well for you right now with the finishes in your last two tournaments and that leads to some confidence. Can you talk a little bit about what difference that makes in your game, having that confidence?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I mean, I think the easiest way to put it is success breeds success. Whenever you finally succeed somewhat out here, you get the confidence that, you know what, hey, I'm good enough to be out here. Then you start playing a little bit more consistently and then like, for instance, I had a second place over at the Byron and then I think, "Well, not only do I think I belong out here, but I think I can win." And then I win and you think, hey, there's no telling how far you can go. It's just a matter of what you believe you can accomplish.

I think everybody out here has got a different golf swing, they have got a different they are different in so many ways. I mean, everybody is different out here. There's so many different winners out here, I mean, who knows, the only thing that's similar to everybody out here is confidence. And some people always have more confidence than others, and you know, that's my goal, like I said, each week is trying to improve and just get more confident every single week.

Right now, I think my goal is just go through the process and hopefully put myself in more positions, more consistently, to win and then go from there. I'm not going to try to get ahead of myself. Obviously I've got some long term goals that I'd like to accomplish, but people probably think I'm crazy. It's just a matter of each week improving your game and learning something new and going from there.

But like I said, you know, the more success you have, the more confidence you get; the more confidence you get, the more success you get. So it's kind of a vicious circle and just kind of feeds on itself. I think like Tiger, just does nothing but succeed, and that's why he comes out here and expects to win every single week. That's why he's probably the man to beat every single week.

End of FastScripts.

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