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Tuesday
Mar172015

"I see it in his eyes...because that's where I've been."

Pretty powerful comments from Sean O'Hair today at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, talking about Tiger Woods as someone who has gotten lost searching for a game.

Brian Wacker
at PGATour.com with the quotes and O'Hair's story, which is on a upswing after his playoff appearance at last week's Valspar Championship.

"I just think that he's lost and the only reason why I say that is because I see it in his eyes and I see it in how he's walking and I see it in how he's playing because that's where I've been. I've been living it."

After turning pro out of high school, O'Hair didn't make it through his first five attempts at PGA TOUR q-school. He had also become estranged from his father during the process.

Then in 2005, his rookie year on TOUR, he won the John Deere Classic and by the spring of the following year was the youngest player in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

While O'Hair never reached Tiger's level, the depths he hit after getting too technical at least suggest there is a path to saying sayonara to the demons.

Playing the Masters isn't one of them.

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Reader Comments (19)

"I just think that he's lost and the only reason why I say that is because I see it in his eyes and I see it in how he's walking and I see it in how he's playing because that's where I've been. I've been living it."

Absolutely. Sean O'Hair is proof that you can overcome having a DB as a dad.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I watched Sean's presser live on Golf Live Extra, and I thought it was the best presser I've ever seen. Honest and insightful.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin
Could Patrick Reed be the next Sean O'Hair ? Johnny Miller said during the 2007 Players that he would never reach his full potential until he made peace / resolved his family issues. Seems like Reed is right there now.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Reed doesn't have daemons. He's been drug trough the dirt the last few weeks and his golf game has gotten stronger, if anything. He may be too cocky for some, but it's refreshing that an American wants to kick everyone's rear like another guy we knew wearing red and black.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBNell
One of the most courageous things Tiger could do is skip the Masters this year without his health as an alibi. He must believe he can find his game again but acknowledge it isn't ready for the public scrutiny. He should talk to Stricker and Westwood to get insight on their struggles and not return until his game is ready. But if he plays only to appease sponsors he risks more than just 2 days of poor golf in front of the world. If is short game is still a mystery he won't find it at that course.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Johnny Miller's dime store family counseling is worth every penny you pay for it.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Good take by O'Hair. Yes, these guys are good, but they aren't 'Iron Byrons'. Each player has their own personal stamp on their swing, ingrained by body type, mentality, vision and history swinging a club. While the seduction of producing a perfect swing through Trackman, coaches and others' helpful input must be very strong, learning what you do best and being able to repeat it under pressure is the key. Good luck in the future, Sean.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
Good luck to a talented young man. Nice to see him righting the ship.
03.17.2015 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I really like O'Hair. I was pulling for him Sunday. Seems like a good guy. Hope he finds his form and fulfills his potential.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatthewM
I think all golfers who have played at a high level have gone through this to an extent. It always seems like you make a change when your game is in really good shape in an effort to get just a little better, but you end up going backwards. It's not until you decide to "go back to basics" and give up on trying to get just a little better that your game comes back.

I have no idea how difficult that is when you play on TOUR in front of people and in front of television cameras. I only know what it's like bashing balls on the range wondering what the hell happened to my perfect 5 yard fade (which is now a 20 yard snap hook)!
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
'I've learned what not to do'. That's tough, but hopefully it works out for him in the long run. We comment on these guys, make judgements on their games, their personalities, their commitment level, without (personally) knowing the first thing about what it takes to be a touring Pro. I know there are commenters here that have played at the highest level - I am certainly not one of them - so to listen to this presser, it really gives an insight into the process of being a professional golfer. They are all so ridiculously talented, most of us can't even comprehend how good they are. However, surprisingly, they still can fall victim to the belief that some teacher can give them all the answers. Everyone wants to improve, but history shows that there are very few who can change what got them there and still compete.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
O'Hair seems like a good guy. It's good to see him playing well. Glad that he was able to play through the stress of family issues and stay focused on his goals. I understand that his father was/is a real dick.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Thanks for posting this Geoff - so much wisdom, born out of so many struggles. The line between seeking information from well-meaning people and listening to too many voices is a fine one. There is much to learn and apply from O'Hair's comments to other fields besides professional golf.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterNC
O'Hair has been through alot and his character hasn't tarnished a bit. He represents the best of what professional level golf should be about.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBob.
Man, in this era of the "swing coach entourage" and the colossal f**kups it has produced in the likes of O'Hair, Harrington, Kymer, and of course Woods, this should be mandatory viewing for every player everywhere.

O"Hair's line, "I got in my own way and screwed up what I had," could be Woods' epitaph if he doesn't genuinely get through to what this bright young man has come to an understanding of.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
"I watched Sean's presser live on Golf Live Extra, and I thought it was the best presser I've ever seen. Honest and insightful. "

Amen, brother, Amen. Also, Intelligent and articulate.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Duffer
Well said Benjamin and Joe D. Best of luck for Sean.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterErrol
One of the best pressers I've seen in a while. Talk about staring adversity in the face and beating it back. Hope he wins again soon.
03.18.2015 | Unregistered CommenterTA
Sean is the real thing. His honesty and willingness to explore questions posed to him with thoughtful answers is what is so appealing.
03.19.2015 | Unregistered Commenternancy

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