Sunday, November 11, 2007

More from Sean O'Hair

After a 1½-hour lunch with Sean O’Hair last week, I came away with enough stuff for a story twice as long as the one that ran in Sunday’s Inquirer.

So, here are some of his comments and quotes that didn’t make it into the paper:

Sean on the early part of the year…
The beginning of the year was a train wreck. I think I missed five out of my first six cuts.

I went back to an old instructor at the Houston event (Steve Dahlby). Ever since I went back to him things are good. I stared playing well. It was almost like an immediate improvement.

On his bad starts to the last two years…
I think it is more a matter of rust. Last year I was hitting the gym hard. I didn’t practice hardly at all. The year before, same thing. The (Philadelphia winter) weather is a problem for me. That is something I’ve got to figure out, whether it’s renting a place in Florida or buying a second home or just going down there every so often and staying in a hotel. That is something I am going to do differently this year. I’m not too keen on buying a second home but you never know.

On going into next season…
That’s what I will be focused on this winter: what can I do to prepare myself for the beginning of the year. I’ve never had a good beginning to the year. If I do, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it won’t be bad.

On Michelle Wie…
She has already sunk. She’s done. It would be very difficult for her to come back. For her to come back, she is going to have to separate herself from her parents, unfortunately. Her parents are good people, nice, but they are a little hard on her. She needs to take responsibility for her own life. It’s her life, it’s not her parents life. She needs to take responsibility for what is going on.

All I know is she is 18 years old. She is an adult. She needs to start doing things on her own, taking responsibility for her own life, her own career. But it’s none of my business. I was in a situation like that. It’s not easy to get out from underneath that thumb.

On the Players Championship…
People said, “You should have played for the middle of the green, taken your par and finished second.

I wanted to win. You could put me in that situation 100 more times and I am still going to try to win, being in the same situation. Now, I would do it in a different way. I wouldn’t fire at the pin. I’d probably take it 20 feet to the left and try and make the putt.

I hit the wrong club off the tee. I hit nine. I probably shouldn’t have gone for the pin. But you know what, I proved a lot to myself. When the time comes, I am not scared of winning the golf tournament. I am not scared of failure. It builds character.

On Tiger’s supremacy and his own efforts to become No. 1…
Tiger is not going to be on top forever. So there is a chance, if I work my tail off. One day, I have the capability of becoming the best player in the world.

Could I do it next year? Probably not. Five years? Probably not. But I’m only 25 years old. Look at Phil Mickelson. He’s what, 36 and he’s in the prime of his career. Where’s Tiger going to be 10 years from now? Where’s Phil going to be 10 years from now? Where am I going to be 10 years from now? Well, Tiger’s going to play well until he’s freakin’ 60. All I’m saying is I’m not close to the prime of my career and I’ve got some big goals. I want to be in the Hall of Fame, I want to win major championships.

On his life away from golf…
I love my life. I am so fortunate. There are times I sit there and think about things I didn’t experience as a 20-year-old. Honestly, I don’t care, because I have a lot of nice things kids my age don’t have. I have two beautiful kids and a beautiful wife who love me to death. Not to sound corny, but I am very blessed and I don’t appreciate it enough, to be honest.

You need to count your blessings. I kind of hit home the last two weeks of the Fall Season. I’m playing with guys who are on the verge of losing their jobs, and I’m thinking it could be a hell of a lot worse.

On living in Philadelphia…
I do feel like it’s home. I don’t like the winter. Winter sucks. But you know, my friends are here, my family is here. We have talked moving, going down to Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida, Arizona. The big reason we don’t move is my family, my wife. She is dead-set on living here.
If I did move, I would miss the beauty here. There is nowhere in the country prettier than this place.

I was driving late one night because I couldn’t sleep. It was after the Players and I was still kind of living it. It was 1 in the morning and went for a drive. I turned on the radio and they were talking about it. Obviously I’m going to listen to it to hear the bad things they were going to say. But they were very supportive. It was nice.

I’ve never had a home, dude. I’ve never been based out of anywhere. I moved out of Lubbock when I was 13. I moved to Arizona for three years, moved to Florida, but I didn’t’ didn’t live there for anytime. I’ve been here for five years. I’d love to be a Philadelphian. My plan is just to stay here.