O'HAIR SEEING RED (FINALLY)
Even when he was playing well, Sean O’Hair hadn’t seen numbers this deeply red next to his name in a long time. And considering his form in 2013, even he wasn’t sure how his nervous system would stand up.
He learned he still has the stomach for it.
“It’s a confidence thing,” said O’Hair, whose 8-under 64 at the Hotel Fitness Championship was one shot off the week’s best. He finished the day tied for 11th, a jump of 33 spots on the leaderboard in the Web.com Tour Finals opener.
“When you’re not putting numbers on the board for a long period of time (and) you start shooting a low round, it’s kind of getting comfortable with it again. … Shooting these low scores gets the juices going again, which is nice.”
You have to go back to the 2010 World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational to find the last time O’Hair went as low as 64. His best this year has been a pair of 66s -- one of which still didn’t get him through to the weekend.
It’s been that kind of year for O’Hair, who missed the cut in 15 of 22 starts and all but one since THE PLAYERS Championship in May. That followed a 2012 season in which he missed just four cuts all year.
“I was close to playing really, really well,” said O’Hair, a four-time PGA TOUR winner. “So I had some expectations coming into this year, and early in the year I just struggled.”
O’Hair missed his first three cuts of the year, then tied for 16th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and 18th at The Honda Classic before the bottom fell out. His best finish since that point was a share of 40th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, after closing with a 75.
“The Florida Swing is a time I usually start playing well,” O’Hair said. “Then I just started tinkering, using a bunch of different coaches and trying to find something that would work.”
O’Hair’s spiral eventually dropped him to 170th in FedExCup points, landing him a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals. Though he can’t wipe out a lost 2013, he’s hoping a simplified outlook will help him use the series to push the reset button on his year.
“I’m not starting from scratch, but it sort of feels that way,” he said. “You’ve just got to embrace it and say, ‘You know what, if I learn from my mistakes, I can be better off in the long run.’ Hopefully that’s the case.