What it’s like playing in a Presidents Cup and partying alongside Michael Jordan

Sean O'Hair shares what it's like to party with Michael Jordan after playing in the Presidents Cup.

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Sean O’Hair never should’ve been in the position to represent his country in the Presidents Cup (or to party along some of his lifelong heroes, for that matter).

“There’s no way I should have made it. It’s hard enough to make it,” O’Hair said. “I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with how I was putting. I was really struggling with that because I wasn’t scoring.”

But in 2009, he got the call to join the U.S. Team in the Presidents Cup at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. And as he told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz in this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, it was one of the best breaks he received in his PGA Tour career.

The story begins in the lead-up to the event, when O’Hair joined Michael Jordan — who was serving as an assistant on the U.S. side — for a practice round.

“Jordan was trying to say some words — the best thing that Jordan and I did was we played a practice round and afterwards we got hammered,” O’Hair said. “I think it was Lucas Glover, me, Couples and Jordan. It was cool. We had a good time. And then we were drinking scotch and he was just drinking me under the table.”

For O’Hair, who grew up in the early-90s in the heart of the Jordan-era Bulls, the round proved to be an out-of-body experience.

“It was just one of those Tiger moments. For Michael Jordan to do that for me and to take the time means a lot for me,” he said. “To me, sitting at a table basically at a table telling Michael Jordan he’s full of s—, because my car was faster than his. It was one of those moments like, holy s—, is this really happening?”

And of course, beyond Jordan, O’Hair was joined on that U.S. team by some of his golf heroes. Chief among them, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson.

For O’Hair, what Jordan brought in competitive knowledge and star power, players like Mickelson matched in golf intuition.

“Phil is an interesting cat. I don’t know how to say if I like Phil or if I don’t like Phil,” O’Hair laughed. “For Phil to take me under his wing the way he did and to encourage me the way he did during some of those matches, that was really cool for me.”

To see the rest of O’Hair’s interview on Subpar, including his thoughts on why Anthony Kim is a misunderstood golfer, watch the full video below.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.