O'Hair finds way to hang on for victory

Associated Press
Sean O'Hair pumps his fist after making birdie on No. 16. He shot 69 in the final round for his third PGA Tour win.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Standing on the 18th tee, Sean O'Hair asked his caddie where he stood in the Quail Hollow Championship and got word he had a one-shot lead.

"Over who?" O'Hair replied.

It wasn't Tiger Woods. It might not have mattered.

Five weeks after blowing a five-shot lead at Bay Hill against the world's No. 1 player, O'Hair was determined to keep putting himself in contention until he figured out how to win down the stretch. That time came Sunday against one of the strongest fields of the year, with Woods in his rearview mirror.

O'Hair, 26, closed with 3-under 69 -- the only player in the last nine groups to break 70 -- and made enough key birdies that finishing with consecutive bogeys on the two toughest holes at Quail Hollow didn't cost him.

He wound up with a one-shot victory over Lucas Glover and Bubba Watson to become only the third player in his 20s with at least three PGA Tour victories. The others are Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.

"Losing (stunk) at Bay Hill," O'Hair said. "Even though it's tough to lose like that, to lose a five-shot lead against Tiger, you still learn from it."

Glover, who bogeyed the par-3 17th, had a chance to force a playoff until his approach bounded over the firm green and his birdie chip turned away to the left. He closed with 71 to join Watson (70) in a tie for second.

Woods struggled with his game throughout the final round, but he had a chance to tie for the lead when he drove the par-4 14th green and had an eagle putt from just inside 25 feet. He three-putted for par, then failed to birdie the par-5 15th. He finished with 10 consecutive pars for 72 to finish alone in fourth, two shots behind. "I had my opportunity there at 14. I made a mistake there," Woods said. "I knew the green was baked out. It was downwind, and I didn't heed my own warning and ended up putting too hard."

O'Hair, who finished at 11-under 277, will move up to No. 12 in the world ranking, his highest position ever. He also earned $1.17 million, giving him just short of $3 million for the year.

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