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.
  • Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.