Despite His Past OHair Has Game for a Future

By Associated PressMay 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
IRVING, Texas -- In what might have been the harshest part of a 60 Minutes II interview, Marc OHair bragged about knowing how to make a buck in the business world. It was always about material, overhead and labor.
 
Sitting next to him was his teenage son, whom he had pushed to turn pro a year before the kid finished high school.
 
Sean O
Sean O'Hair has played his way into 32nd place on the PGA Tour money list.
Hes pretty good labor, the father said in a segment first broadcast three years ago, shown again Sunday during the final round of the Byron Nelson Championship.
 
Labor is one thing.
 
Sean OHair also has the goods.
 
Most PGA Tour rookies struggle just to make a paycheck this early in the year as they cope with travel plans, places to stay and courses they have never seen. OHair has made the cut in seven straight tournaments, and his runner-up finish Sunday was no accident.
 
He showed poise well beyond his boyish looks and 22 years, scrambling for par out of bunkers and hitting lasers at the flags when his round could have slipped away. He closed with a 2-under 68 to finish one shot behind winner Ted Purdy.
 
OHair was the ninth player this year who failed to protect the outright lead going into the final round, but he and Phil Mickelson at Doral are the only ones who broke par.
 
I played with a lot of heart out there, he said.
 
One can only imagine that he plays with a heavy heart, too, although that doesnt appear to be the case.
 
I know hes got kind of an odd story with his father, but you could never tell theres been any bad blood between the two, said British Open champion Todd Hamilton, who played a practice round with OHair early in the week and wound up in the final group with him Sunday.
 
OHair severed ties with his father two years ago and married the first girl he dated, who also happened to love golf. She played at Florida Atlantic and brought perspective and self-esteem to his life.
 
Shes basically the heartbeat of my game and my life, OHair said.
 
He now travels the tour with Jackie and their 3-month-old daughter, Molly. His father-in-law, Steve Lucas, took time away from the insurance business to caddie. They were joined Sunday on the TPC at Las Colinas by OHairs mother and sister, who flew in from Florida.
 
The only one missing was Marc OHair.
 
Asked how his father might have felt to see him come so close to winning, OHair searched for the right words.
 
I love my dad, he said. And I ... you know, I hope hes doing well. Thats all I have to say about that.
 
The Orlando Sentinel, which first wrote about the OHair saga in December, tried Sunday evening to contact the father, who has an unlisted phone number. Marc OHair cursed at the reporter and hung up.
 
It seems unlikely that OHair can escape questions about his path to the PGA Tour, a story that reeks of a father who treated his son like a commodity.
 
Up every day at 5 a.m. to run, on the course from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The father made him run a mile for every bogey on his scorecard and derided him for missing shots. It was all in the kids best interest, to make him the best.
 
What am I supposed to do'say, Oh, Seany boy, you dont have to get up early today? The military, they know how to build a champion, Marc OHair told the Sentinel in December. Somebody who slacks off, thats a loser. The typical high school kid is hanging out at the mall. Thats a loser.
 
OHair prefers not to rehash his youth, such as it was.
 
I dont know if its died out, he said. I would like for it to.
 
In an interview after he shared the 36-hole lead, OHair said he had not spoken to his father in nearly two years. But he says that with no animosity in his voice, and hoped that their estranged relationship might one day change.
 
That would be nice, he said.
 
Lost in the appeal of his past is the promise of the road ahead.
 
OHair was rated among the top amateurs when he was at the David Leadbetter Academy, and its easy to see why. His swing is polished, and length is not an issue. He is polite, well-spoken and firmly rooted in reality.
 
Im going to be a happy person if Im not playing well, and thats the key, he said. It used to be where if I didnt play well, I was an unhappy person. I dont think your golf game depicts who you are as a person.
 
That might be the only scar tissue.
 
Lucas has little experience as a caddie, plenty as a father-in-law. He makes sure OHair pays attention to the next shot, instead of worrying about what happened on the last one.
 
Tied for the lead early in the final round, OHair turned over a 6-iron and saw it land in a bunker, leaving him in a tough spot. He bowed his head and walked slowly to the bag, but that didnt last long. Once at the green, he dug his feet in the sand and blasted out to a foot to save his par.
 
If I have to, Ill stand on his feet to keep him from hitting the next shot until were sure hes stopping thinking about the last shot, Lucas said.
 
OHair no longer looks back, and he stopped having regrets. There was a time he thought about quitting when he was a teenager among men, facing competition way over his head.
 
What would he do if he could turn back the clock?
 
He looked over at his wife and daughter, and the answer was never more easy.
 
She really turned my life around and showed me what matters in life, OHair said softly. If I didnt turn pro, I would never have met her. I wouldnt have a good situation like I do. So right now, I dont have any regrets at all. She showed me through her actions, how she treats me, that family means more than anything.
 
Related links:
  • Bio - Sean O'Hair
  • Full Coverage - EDS Byron Nelson Championship
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.