Date: December 04, 2007
Author: Marc Fox

O’Hern reminisces on Coolum win

He can try but Nick O&aposHern will find it hard to escape talk of his championship-clinching bunker shot at the 18th in last year&aposs memorable Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship victory over compatriot Peter Lonard. In a seven minute press conference to preview the defence of a crown he almost blew 12 months ago, the quietly-spoken Western Australian was asked to rekindle memories of that chipped birdie on three separate occasions. He admitted that he remembers fondly the feeling of watching the ball disappear after four gruelling playoff holes but not the three-foot putt he missed on the 18th green for victory. O&aposHern had earlier also failed to sink a three-footer on the 16th after Lonard had already putted for par. “I&aposve missed three-footers before and I&aposll miss them again and I&aposve holed bunker shots before and I&aposll hole them again,” the defending champion said on reflection. “You just take the good with the bad.” Only 10 players have gone on to win successive Australian PGA titles including Greg Norman in 1984 and 1985 and Robert Allenby in 2000 and 2001 and the 36-year-old conceded he isn&apost exactly coming into his favourite championship at the top of his game. After a scintillating start, his slide down the world rankings this year has left him in 46th position and after the Presidents Cup he retreated from the day-to-day stresses of professional golf for a well-deserved holiday after getting &aposbogged down&apos with his game over the past six months. “I just didn t take long enough breaks. I played the amount of tournaments I wanted to but I only ever really had one week off at a time,” he explained. “I think it&aposs important to take maybe two or three weeks off at a time to completely get away from the game.” Since recharging his batteries his preparation has been geared solely towards playing a Coolum course which has been home to his only two professional wins. Which leads us back to that bunker shot at the 18th. So did he replay that same shot during his practice session on Tuesday? “I had a look over there, but never played one out of it. I hope I don&apost go in there again to be honest,&apos he said.