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O'Hair's difficult past is no longer the story

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Sean O'Hair wants to be known for his game, not how he was pushed into the professional ranks while still in high school by an overbearing father.

With the way O'Hair is playing these days, his past is becoming less of the story, though it's no less disturbing.

O'Hair shot a season-best 5-under 65 on Thursday in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Brett Wetterich and Anders Hansen after the tournament's first round without its namesake.

"You don't want to be known for other stuff," the 24-year-old O'Hair said. "My life is in a great spot. I've got two beautiful kids I love to death and I've got a beautiful wife who does nothing but support me. ... I'm very fortunate to be in the situation that I'm in."

That wasn't always the case for O'Hair, who was pushed relentlessly by his father to be a star. He used to have to run a mile for every bogey and turned pro at age 17, a year before he finished high school.

Wetterich's 66 included an eagle 3 on the 554-yard 16th hole when he hit his approach within 7 feet of the pin. His 20-foot birdie attempt for a share of the lead at the closing 440-yard hole at the TPC Four Seasons course slid just left of the cup.

One of the things Wetterich treasured about his only PGA Tour victory was the personal congratulation he got from Nelson at the 18th green after the final round. Wetterich was the last winner to have that privilege.

Nelson, the champion golfer known as "Lord Byron" and in 1968 the first to have a PGA Tour event named after him, died Sept. 26. He was 94.

"It is a little sad to not see Byron there. I really miss him," Phil Mickelson said after his round of 69. "But I don't think he's very far away from us. We still have all the great memories he's provided."

Luke Donald, with his ninth consecutive Nelson round in the 60s, and Scott Verplank were among five players tied for fourth at 67. Another dozen players posted 68s.

When O'Hair was the Nelson runner-up to Ted Purdy as a PGA Tour rookie two years ago, O'Hair's story became well-publicized. But by then, he had already severed ties with his father.

"I kind of had my life in order. ... Once the media kind of got involved in that situation, it made it a little bit more difficult for me," O'Hair said. "That stuff is long gone, and it's been long gone for a long time."

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