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Sean O’Hair shocks himself with first-round 63

Sean O’Hair shocks himself with first-round 63

HAMILTON, Ontario – Sean O’Hair said he played in a fog on Thursday, and it worked. 

The last man to get into the field at the 2024 RBC Canadian Open had to drive five hours to catch a flight and played Hamilton Golf & Country Club without seeing the renovations made to the course since the last time he was here. But he went out and made five birdies and an eagle to post 7-under 63 on Thursday and trail first-round leader David Skinns by one stroke.

“I told myself not to expect too much this week,” said O’Hair, who matched his career low, his third 63 in 1,322 career stroke-play rounds. “I’m as surprised as anybody.” 

O’Hair described himself as the type of person that likes to be prepared. But that’s easier said than done starting the week as the sixth alternate for the RBC Canadian Open. The 42-year-old former champion of this event didn’t learn that he had a spot in the national championship until Tuesday morning when last week’s winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge, Davis Riley, withdrew. Then O’Hair’s flight was canceled and he had to drive five hours from Lubbock, Texas, to Dallas and didn’t make it north of the border until Wednesday night. 

“I don’t know, maybe I play my best golf this way,” O’Hair said.

The veteran pro is making his 15th career start at this event. He finished third at Hamilton Golf Club in 2006 in his RBC Canadian Open debut, 13 years before a course renovation, and has fond memories playing in Canada, having secured his last of four career victories at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open when the championship was played in Vancouver. 

“That feels like a lifetime ago,” he said.

O’Hair has had limited status as a past champion on the PGA Tour the last few seasons, splitting time between the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour. This marks just his fourth start in the big leagues this season, and he said it’s been difficult bouncing back and forth.

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