Sean OHair renewed in New England


NORTON, Mass. – Maybe baby Grady will sleep better tonight.

Daddy should, too.

Sean O’Hair reports that his 10-week-old son hasn’t been very comfortable in the crib at night during the Deutsche Bank Championship, and nobody would be surprised to hear papa’s been tossing and turning, too.

With putter in hand this summer, O’Hair has looked more like a snake handler than a PGA Tour pro.

That all changed Saturday at the TPC at Boston.

Playing eight holes in 8-under in the middle of his round, O’Hair grabbed a share of the second-round lead with Jim Furyk.
Sean O
Sean O'Hair and his daughter Molly participated in the Par 3 tournament at the 2009 Masters. (Getty Images)
 With a 7-under-par 64, O’Hair is on the verge of turning around his sluggish summer.

It’s cause for celebration with his wife, Jackie, and three young children all with him this week. The couple has two sons and a daughter, none of them older than 4 years old.

“Sean doesn’t like to travel without family,” Jackie said with her husband signing his scorecard. “He says having us out here makes it feel more normal.”

Grady was just 10 days old when he made his first appearance on Tour at the AT&T National outside Washington, D.C. Jackie estimates the entire family will be on the road for 18 to 20 events this year.

New England’s proving the perfect remedy for what’s been ailing O’Hair’s game.

This is where O’Hair turned around his golf fortunes. With Jackie in tow less than a year after their marriage, Sean signed up for the New England Tour in the summer of 2003. They traveled the Northeast together in a motor home with a Labrador they named Palmer, in honor of Arnold Palmer.

Over two summers, O’Hair rekindled a game that once made him one of golf’s top juniors. His struggles turning pro after his junior year of high school and chasing Monday qualifiers under his father’s domineering shadow have been well documented. They would lead to his estrangement from his father.

Though life’s good for O’Hair off the course these days, he arrived this week with his game in disorder.

O’Hair, 27, arrived having failed to break par in his last nine rounds. He made the cut at the PGA Championship and then shot himself out of contention with an 82. He followed that up with back-to-back 77s and missed the cut at The Barclays last weekend.

“I shot two 6-over-pars,” O’Hair said of The Barcays. “I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my career on the PGA Tour, and it’s all because of putting.

“Yesterday, when I started seeing some putts go in, I said a prayer of thanks and then just started trusting it out there. It’s a huge relief to start seeing them going in and start playing good again.”

Related Content

Player: Sean O'Hair
  • Event: Deutsche Bank Championship
  • Club: TPC Boston
  • Tour: PGA Tour

O’Hair had a terrific spring. Though he lost down the stretch to Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, he bounced back and won the Wachovia Championship in May, beating a strong field on a demanding course at Quail Hollow Club. Something happened, though, three weeks later at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He pulled a muscle between his forearm and his elbow in his left arm. A month after that, Grady was born.

“I got healthy before the U.S. Open and had a baby right after the U.S. Open, so off the golf course things got busy,” said O’Hair, who is 16th on the FedEx Cup points list. “You put a couple bad tournaments in there, then you kind of start losing your confidence a little bit.”

New England is where O’Hair rediscovered his confidence as a young golfer, so it makes sense he would find it again here this weekend. Jackie caddied for Sean during those two years in New England.

“Some of our best memories were playing the New England Tour,” O’Hair said. “We had fun traveling. I wasn’t used to playing a tour, and so it was nice to kind of get to know some of the guys that could play. We got some confidence because I played really well. I don’t think I missed a cut in two years.

“At the time, we had no kids, but we had a big, fat lab that was like a kid. We were kind of just trying to live week to week. I think those times kind of make this pretty sweet.”

O’Hair would love to sweeten the memories with a strong Labor Day weekend finish.