Friday, June 02, 2006

O'Hair clubhouse leader at the Memorial

Sean O'Hair from West Chester fired a 5-under par 67 at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday, making him the leader in the clubhouse by a shot over Steve Flesch when first-round play was called.

Here are a few excerpts from his post-round press conference:

Q: Sean, a great start actually, a double bogey on the third hole and from there on it was cruise control. But a great start overall for you.

SEAN O'HAIR: Yeah, it's great. It's been a while since I had a good start to an event, so it's nice to just feel positive about what happened today instead of fighting, trying to make the cut.

Q: I know you were unhappy with the way you began the season, but you've shown signs in the last month. Anything in particular that you...

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, the whole West Coast was kind of a tough, tough deal for me, because I was working with an instructor who was... we were working on a few things. And I don't think they fit me. And finally I made an instructor change at Doral, to a guy I used to work with Gary Gilchrist, that I used to work with as a junior at the Leadbetter Academy. He looks at it from a player's perspective. And he kind of clarifies things for me, and he keeps it simple for me. And he's worked with my swing instead of trying to rebuild a swing. I think my swing is pretty good. It won a lot of money last year. And I'm just kind of getting back to that and working on shaping shots and stuff like that. And I've been working with (Bob) Rotella a little bit on trying to clear my head out there. There's been a lot of negative thoughts going on.

Q. As much I think I've heard you say this but as much stability that Steve (Lucas) brought to you at that time in your life, was it difficult, awkward, making the switch?

SEAN O'HAIR: You know, it was a mutual thing. It wasn't like "Well, Steve, I've got to tell you some bad news, I'm firing you." It wasn't like that at all. For some reason, we started talking about it at dinner one night. And I said, "Hey, maybe we need to think about making a change." And we did. And we felt like now was the best time, instead of waiting at the end of the year and doing it, or waiting until next year. It's pretty easy. It's hard to see him go, because I miss him being out here. It's nice to have him out here and enjoy some things with him. But I think it's good for both him and I, to be honest with you, in the long run.

Q: Is he going to be at the U.S. Open, that would be weird?

SEAN O'HAIR: No, I think he's going to enjoy it a little bit more. He'll be able to enjoy it rather than working. And plus, it's going to be brutally hot, so he'll have a beer or two at the turn.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

DL-3 on Tiger and Phil

Interesting comments from Davis Love III during a conference call with writers last week...

Q. I guess just to totally change course, you mentioned Phil and Tiger. Do you think Phil has closed the gap, and do you think in general the field has closed the gap on Tiger?

DAVIS LOVE III: They've closed the gap. If you go back and read what we were saying around 2000, around that period, we were saying, this ain't going to happen forever; this is the best golf that's ever been played. All those things we said about Tiger, but he played -- for his whole career he's played better than anybody has probably ever played, but for that one period, like the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, nobody has ever played golf like that. He's had a two-, maybe three-year period where we said, look, the standard is now being set. You're seeing it being set. Nobody will ever approach this.

You can watch Barry Bonds catch Hank Aaron that we thought was never going to happen, and he's saying, look behind me, look at this Pujols guy; he's on a much better pace than me. You never know. We never thought Jack's records would be approached, but Tiger is the one to have a chance.

That period was so good. I think Phil is playing up to his potential. If Tiger plays to his potential and Phil plays to his potential and Vijay plays to his potential and Davis plays to his potential, they're going to win big golf tournaments. I just think that Tiger obviously is just a little bit more special than everybody else, maybe like Jack was. If everybody played to their potential, Jack was still going to win probably more majors and golf tournaments than the rest of them.

Raven's Claw media day

Despite a withering barrage of 300-yard bombs off the tee and dead-on approach shots, the Raven's Claw course record shockingly remained intact after Tuesday's media day outing at the Pottstown course.

Course architect Ed Shearon's vision for the par 3 14th (above) was a sort of reverse image of the 12th at Augusta National.

Co-owner Bob Davis (below) overpowers the devilish dogleg 9th.

For a fuller look at the course, click here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tiger's in the Open, for sure

At his first public appearance since his dad's death on May 3rd, Tiger Woods told a bunch of youngsters in Arkansas Tuesday he'll definitely be back in action for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in two weeks..

"Am I definitely going to play? Yeah," Woods said, according to Bloomberg News.

For more, click here.

For the Memorial, Nix Nicklaus

You know Jack Nicklaus' golf career is winding down when he demurs from playing in his own tournament, this week's Memorial. Sad to say, but that's the reality. It's time, and Nicklaus knows it

"Have you seen me play lately?" he asked writers. "...It will be a pleasure not to play."

For more, click here.

Tiger @ Winged Foot

Almost a month after the death of his dad, Tiger Woods still has returned to the PGA Tour. (He's skipping this week's Memorial). But he is practicing again. On Saturday, he turned up at Winged Foot, site of the U.S. Open in two weeks, along with his swing coach, Hank Haney.

For details, click here.