MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) -- Sean O'Hair grabbed a 3-iron at the 13th tee, took a few swings and didn't feel right. So his caddie suggested a 5-wood.
O'Hair missed a hole-in-one by about an inch, the ball settling on the edge of the cup 241 yards away. His 68 Sunday put him in a tie for 12th at the PGA Championship, his best finish yet at a major.
"He's playing better," said caddie Steve Lucas, who also doubles as O'Hair's father-in-law. "He's not making the mistakes that young players make. He's not having the 76-67 rounds. It's getting so much better. He's infinitely better as a player now than he was six months ago."
And Lucas can take some of the credit.
O'Hair is estranged from his own father after a rough childhood in which his father drove him to become a professional golfer. But he found a father figure in Lucas and credits him with helping him find success last season, when he was the rookie of the year.
But Lucas gave up the bag earlier this season. Both say there was no animosity. Lucas said he was worn out and needed a break from the tour so he could focus on his insurance business.
O'Hair tried two different caddies, but it wasn't the same. He missed eight cuts and had only four top-25 finishes. Lucas started caddying for his son-in-law again two weeks ago at the Buick Open, and it was like old times.
O'Hair tied for fourth, shooting 19-under.
"The other caddies were fine. They just didn't know my game. They didn't know my personality," O'Hair said. "We know what works. We're doing a little better job managing the relationship.
"We're around each other so much, so you have to really manage it and make sure you don't get on each other's nerves. We have always worked well on the golf course together, and it's just improving through experience."
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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