OHair Faces Life as a Pop Himself

By George WhiteAugust 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
Sean OHair is a father now. His daughter is six months old, and hes experiencing first-hand all those things that parents do when they are trying to raise a happy, well-behaved child.
 
Sean doesnt see ' or speak ' to his own father now. The story has become old news, but OHair the elder and OHair junior had a falling-out three of years ago. Marc OHair spent the better part of 20 years rigidly controlling Seans life, trying his best to produce a professional golfer. Rightly or wrongly, he finally proved too overbearing for Sean, who got out from under his fathers supervision when he met and married a girl he met ' not surprisingly ' on a golf course in 2002. There has been no communication since.
 
Sean O
Sean O'Hair earned his first PGA Tour victory at the John Deere Classic.
I dont know either Sean or Marc personally, so Im not in a position to say who was right and who was wrong. Ive only read stories about the life of a boy who was brought up extremely strict, his teachings all devoted to that day when he would become a winner on the PGA Tour. That day came five weeks ago at the John Deere Classic.
 
His father wasnt there to celebrate with him. His natural family wasnt there to celebrate with him. His celebrating was with his in-laws, while Marc set at home in Lakeland, Fla., bitter and silent.
 
Sean does his best to soft-pedal the story now. The older he gets, the less harsh he becomes with the memories of his father. Marc maintains stony silence, saying he no longer will do interviews after a recent ESPN account of the father-son relationship was, in Marcs opinion, extremely unflattering. In a fax to the Golf Channel last week, Marc said he was releasing Sean from the contract we have.
 
That contract stated that Sean was to give his father 10 percent of all he made ' for life. It should be noted that father spent much of the familys bankroll trying to prepare Sean for life as a professional golfer. Sean has been a professional since he was 17, before he completed high school.
 
And now, Sean is launching out into his own life as a father. Will he be too strict with his own child? Too lax? He is feeling his way along, trying to avoid the pitfalls of either.
 
The tough thing about it is, there's a fine line between being supportive and being overbearing, explained Sean in a news conference this week at The International. Because obviously being a parent, me being a parent, I want the best for my daughter.
 
I'm going to do whatever it takes for her to have the best. But I think, too, you also have to know when to let them make their own mistakes, let them learn on their own.
 
He believes that would have been, by far, the best road for his father Marc to take. Of course, such is the opinion of most teen-agers. The problem is, naturally, when have you given the child enough rope to learn lifes intricate lessons? And contrastingly, when have you given them so much rope that you arent doing your parenting successfully?
 
Sean O
O'Hair uses his father-in-law, Steve Lucas, as his caddie.
Regardless, the father-son situation has come and gone for Sean and Marc. It was botched painfully. But regardless of whose fault it was, Sean says the void has been filled by his in-laws. And that other life now seems so far removed.
 
You know, it's just something that you really don't think about, he says. It's in the past, and it almost feels like another life. So it's almost like it never happened, to be honest with you.
 
Without mentioning his own father as an example, Sean said the typical little-league father syndrome is much more common than is generally realized. I think it's very common. I don't think a lot of people know this, that it's common that parents, I guess you could say, get a little too involved or whatever.
 
Sean says kids need to occasionally be spoken to in a stern manner. He is only 23, has been a father less than a year, but he says he realizes partially what a parent goes through. Not all children are alike, of course, and the thing that one child might react to positively, another might take offensively. It is, he said, a very fine line.
 
I just think that what parents should do is (what is) the best for your kids, Sean said. And there comes a time that - hey, just let the kids have fun, because that's what it's all about.
 
OHair knows that this subject will be hashed and rehashed repeatedly the more successful he becomes. Nothing like having your dirty laundry aired in public. He is suffering the most extreme effects of his childhood ' the lack of communication with a father who was probably too overbearing. And he is dealing with it the best way he knows how.
 
You know, that's another part of my life that I've dealt with already, and it would be stupid of me to bring that back in my life, he says. So he and his father maintain their stony silence, both feeling deeply aggrieved, but neither one able ' or willing ' to settle the old issues.
 
And meanwhile, Sean has moved on to become someone himself who will lead, guide, mold a young life. Will his daughter be a golfer herself? Art teacher? Maybe a politician? Housewife?
 
He himself never got burned out on golf, despite the regimen he had to follow as a youth. It was extremely difficult, he says, but he was introduced to a sport that has become a life work.
 
I think, No. 1, there was something inside me that just wouldn't give up, he said. I can't see myself doing anything else.
 
This is what I wanted to do and whatever that was, love of the game or whatever, I just wanted to be out here. I wanted to be out here really bad and I wasn't going to really let anything get in the way. I don't know, that's just the way it was.
 
Email your thoughts to George White
 
Related Links:
  • Marc O'Hair's 17-page faxed document to The Golf Channel
  • Elder O'Hair Releases Son from Contracts
  • Getty Images

    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

    Getty Images

    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

    Getty Images

    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

    Getty Images

    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.