Mark Nessmith This Week at August 10, 2005

Sean O'Hair's dad bypasses
blood suckers, takes Father of the
Year campaign directly to the public

Late last week the much-maligned Marc O'Hair, father of 23-year-old PGA Tour Pro Sean O'Hair, distributed a 17-page fax to The Golf Channel and other media outlets. It was his way of clearing up the misconceptions and untruths that have dogged him ever since his son broke off their relationship in late 2002. He stands by the way he raised Sean and publicly releases him from contracts that bound him to pay Marc a tenth of the money he earns playing golf.

The fax is a fascinating read. If you're able to wade through it, you'll come away wondering just what the problem was. What a level-headed, wonderful guy Marc O'Hair is! Here are some excerpts:

• "Every time Sean is in contention, you blood sucking media types bring up the same lies."

• "I had always been fearful of the college life for Sean. I took some college classes in 1996 in Scottsdale and in 1997 in Bradenton. The kids are worse now than when I was in college back in the 70's. Their disrespectful, hedonistic Godless attitudes along with their tattooed and pieced bodies scared the hell out of me...I didn't want that for Sean. The drinking, whoring, and partying in the college life was a trap for Sean to fall into.”

• "I am a recovering alcoholic. My wife's father was an alcoholic. My father is and his father was heavy drinkers by some standards but alcoholics by mine. ... Thank God he stayed away from that life, got married as a virgin, and doesn't drink or smoke."

• "As Sean grew into a young teenager he developed a sense of sarcasm and sometimes would remark on something in a smart way. ... When he was too old to spank, Sean was sometime lightly slapped across the face. ... A few times the light slap would catch the nose and it would bleed. There was never any abuse. ... there was never a slap that wasn't provoked by something he said."

• "Sean was always told that he could disagree and state his opinion on any subject at any time by using a certain procedure. That procedure is...'pardon me dad with all due respect but I disagree'. And he could go on and state his opinion. He never used the procedure."

• "A father should never have to earn his children's respect...that's explained in the 10 Commandments."

• "He talks about not owning a pair of jeans in his childhood. I refused to let him own a pair of the jeans he wanted. They make you look like either you're running a potato sack race or you've lost 50 pounds and don't own a belt."

Now, understand: These are just a few excerpts, some of the things in the document that caught my eye. But I encourage you to go read Mr. O'Hair's fax in its entirety. It could be that his "blood-sucking media type” jab has left me sensitive to having my objectivity questioned (see, just after Sean won the John Deere Classic, I wrote that he'd gone through a "childhood ringer” without first calling Marc for his side of the story). So please don't be misled by the fact that I believe the fax makes Marc come off like a pulpit-pounding loon who's lucky to have a happy pro golfer for a son rather than another John Walker Lindh or Unabomer. No, go read the whole thing. And in Marc's own words, "please try to keep an open mind when you read this material. You might just come to the conclusion that you have tried and convicted an innocent man."

Then again, you might not.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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