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May 14, 2005

Sean O'Hair


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome the 54-hole leader of the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship, Sean O'Hair. Sean, you are also the winner of this week's Crestor Charity Challenge. In your name Crestor will donate $50,000 to the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, and in addition you'll also receive $50,000 to donate to a health care-related charity of your choice. Congratulations.

If we could start with some opening comments. Great three days for you. I'm sure you're excited about tomorrow.

SEAN O'HAIR: Very excited. You know, just going to try to play like I've been playing, and that's been just play for pars and let the birdies come my way. I think today for the situation being -- being in that situation for the first time, I'm pretty happy with the way I handled myself, and hopefully I do the same tomorrow.

Q. How does it feel to be leading a tournament knowing that Tiger Woods couldn't make the cut on it (laughter)?

SEAN O'HAIR: That's a tough question. You know, Tiger -- it doesn't get much better than Tiger, so I'm not going to sit there and say, well, it's nice to be leading something that he missed the cut on. He just had a tough week, and I'm playing the best I have pretty much my whole entire life. I really can't compare to that (laughing).

Q. How good of a dress rehearsal for tomorrow do you feel like today was, playing with the lead today?

SEAN O'HAIR: It was a really good one, I think. You know, I really struggled at the beginning of the day. You know, I was nervous, but I definitely wasn't feeling well. I felt a little light-headed. I didn't eat much today. I really couldn't down anything, and out in that heat, I was struggling quite a bit.

Steve took care of me out there, and we just kind of studied the course, and I think today I hit the ball pretty good, actually, on the first five or six holes, and 1-under going into 7, kind of got a little unlucky on that shot, I hit a great shot in there and the wind didn't take it. So that was a little bit of misfortune there. I played pretty solid all day. I've been playing solid. I'm striking the ball well, and hopefully I can just stay in the present tomorrow and focus on what I need to focus on.

Q. Did you get past that whole light-headed or nervous feeling?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I did.

Q. Or did you just handle it?

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, I was just pouring a lot of ice water on my head to try to cool down. I think it was a little bit of the deal -- it was really bright out there today. I think that was a problem of mine. But I just didn't eat enough. I didn't have enough in my stomach and everything. And then I finally kind of ate something in the middle of the round and drank a lot of water and Gatorade and I felt a lot better on the back.

Q. You've got to weigh all of about 145 pounds?

SEAN O'HAIR: I weigh 180, are you kidding (laughing)? I weigh about 160, 165. I'm telling you, I'll get on a scale right now.

Q. Wiry, right?


Q. Are you at all surprised to be in this position, or is this something you expected all along?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I think eventually I was going to be in this situation, at least that's the goal for everybody who plays out here. This early, I don't think so. But I definitely expected -- I shouldn't say expected, but I thought eventually I'd be contending at least for an event. So it's nice to be in this situation, especially this event.

Q. You talked about the light-headedness today as you started. How did you sleep last night, and did you try not to talk about the tournament and the position you were in or did you talk about it at all?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, I slept fairly decently except for the interruption of the storm last night. That was interesting. But I slept well. Just this morning I really couldn't eat much, so I think, like I said, that was a problem out there.

Q. You'll be playing with Todd Hamilton tomorrow who you played part of a practice round with. How do you think that dynamic will help you?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, he's a great guy, very down to earth, and I've never played with him in competition before, so I don't know if he talks or not. He's a nice guy, and I look forward to playing with players like that. You know, I played with two great players today, Brett and Ted, and I look forward to playing with players like that throughout the year.

Q. Is there any advice that he might have given you that's helped you so far this week?

SEAN O'HAIR: Who's that?

Q. Todd.

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, he showed me around on the back. He showed me some lines as far as targets and clubs he hits and kind of where the pins are and stuff like that. So he definitely helped me out on the back nine out there.

Q. I know RJ was due to show up I think last night or whatever, but how about of Lubbock is here family-wise now?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, my aunt followed today, which was nice. My grandparents actually were watching on TV. I don't know if I got any TV time. Did I?

Q. Three hours' worth.

SEAN O'HAIR: Beautiful. So I guess they got to see me enough. It's nice to really have them here. You know, no matter what happens tomorrow, I'm really pleased with how I've done so far, and it's nice to share that with them.

Q. How long did you live in Lubbock?

SEAN O'HAIR: I moved when I was about 11 or 12.

Q. How little did you eat this morning and what did you finally get in your stomach?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I ate about half a bowl of cereal, and I was going to eat some yogurt, but I couldn't get that down. I felt terrible this morning. That was basically all I went out with. And then throughout the day I was eating a little bit of some crackers and some bars, energy bars, and I drank a ton today, so I think that really helped me out.

Q. Was that sick terrible or just nervous terrible?

SEAN O'HAIR: I think it was more sick. I just for some reason the last week or so, I haven't been really -- my stomach hasn't been holding too much down and I've lost quite a bit of weight. I'm just trying to stay hydrated, and hopefully that will pass.

Q. How much weight have you lost?

SEAN O'HAIR: I don't know. I haven't weighed myself in a while. I normally weigh about 165.

Q. Would you talk about 7 in particular, what kind of lie you had?

SEAN O'HAIR: Well, I bombed the drive on 7, and then I had a 4-iron in. I had about 212 up the hill, but the wind was helping out a little bit, and it was going right to left. That wind was going pretty good. I mean, it was about 15 at least from right to left, and so I figured the pin was tucked on the right, and I figured just aim towards the right edge of the green, and that wind will just bring it back. I hit a perfect shot and the thing just went dead straight, and I just hit it too good.

It really nestled on down there in this rough, real thick rough. It wasn't the normal rye rough, it looked like almost a mixture of rye and Bermuda, real thick. It was almost like a plugged lie. I was just trying to open up the blade and try to hold it open as long as I could, and the thing just turned over on me and missed on the low side and just took the swale down there, and it was a tough two-putt.

I think it was more of a matter of not committing to my speed, but it was just a little bit of misfortune.

Q. And then how big of a break do you think it was on 14? What was that off the tee?

SEAN O'HAIR: 14, that was a Rescue. I should have hit a 3-iron. My caddie and I were talking about that. I got a pretty firm bounce down there. I wasn't really expecting that. But that was my fault. I told him I don't think it was 3-iron, I thought it was Rescue, and I tried to take some off of the Rescue and pulled it a little bit. But that was a good break. I was lucky that it didn't go in the water, let alone making par on that hole.

Like I said, you take the good with the bad, right?

Q. That's what they say.


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your birdies and bogeys and then we'll take one or two final questions. You started out with a birdie on No. 4.

SEAN O'HAIR: 4, that was good. I hit a 3-wood there, hit a good shot, the wind just took it a little more than I wanted. I got lucky, got a good break in the rough there. It was a tough club decision; it was 8 or 9, and it was either a really firm 9-iron or kind of take off a little bit of the 8, and the 8 had a chance to go over. If you're over on that green, you're dead.

Steve told me hit the 9, and I hit the 9 and I hit a great shot in there, and I saw the putt. It was a pretty easy putt, just a little bit right to left up and hill and made it.

We talked about 7.

11, short par 4, hit two pretty good shots in there. It was a tough distance for me on that 9-iron into that green. It wasn't a wedge. I didn't think it was a wedge because getting it up in the wind, you never know what it's going to do, so I just wanted to knock it down, and it kind of shot off on me. I've had a couple putts like that. For instance, on 16 the first day, where it was downhill and that one was breaking right to left, the one on 11 was breaking left to right, and just felt good about it and got lucky and made the putt. So that was nice.

And then 12, hit a great drive, hit a good second shot and just -- it was a pretty straightforward putt. I think out here there's -- you feel pretty good with the ones that you know where they're going. There was a couple of them today that I had that could have either gone right or left. I just committed to the putt there and drained it, so that was nice.

Q. What did you hit for your approach shot there on 12?

SEAN O'HAIR: That was a wedge from I think it was 128.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: And then the par 5, 16th.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, that was a lot more fun than the first day playing downwind like that. I didn't catch that drive very well, but if you just basically hit it in the fairway, it's going to go a long way. I felt pretty good with the shot. I didn't really make the greatest swing, and I hit it a little fat and pushed it out there a little bit and it went in the bunker. I had a tricky little bunker shot, basically just carried it and it feeds to the hole. It was kind of on a dome, and if I get too far left of the dome, it goes way left of the hole and probably off the green, and I hit it a little too high and it actually fed up the hill, had a tricky putt but committed to the line and made about a 70-footer.

Q. How does your sense of anticipation or excitement or whatever you have right now for tomorrow compare to the night before or the last night of Q-school?

SEAN O'HAIR: Q-school is probably the toughest thing I'll ever experience. You're playing for your job at Q-school. That's definitely a -- that was a good experience for me, and I think I definitely have learned from that. I think that helped me out last night, and hopefully it helps me out tonight.

I mean, I'm going to be nervous out there. I think anybody who is in contention is going to be a little bit nervous. I think the nerves are good. It's going to get me more focused on what I need to do. I think the thing that's going to hurt me is if I get ahead of myself and start thinking about either other holes or other shots or winning. If I think about winning tomorrow, I'm going to probably screw up pretty good.

You know, my plan tomorrow is just to do what I've been doing, and that is hit fairways, hit greens and play my game. You know, if whoever is lighting it up, I'm just going to keep hitting fairways and greens hopefully and see if the putts fall tomorrow.

Q. Do you have any fears about what tomorrow holds?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, no fear tomorrow. No. I learned a big lesson in Q-school this year. If you're afraid, you're going to fail. So, I mean, I'm happy with how I've played and I'm happy with my game, and to be honest with you, no matter what happens, this week is a success. It's going to be a success if I don't let myself get in my own way. So I'm not scared at all. I'm actually looking forward to it, and hopefully I'll be in this situation a lot of times this year. We'll see.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sean O'Hair, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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