Image - Pat O'Brien
By BILL NICHOLS / The Dallas Morning News
Although he was working with PGA Tour players Zach Johnson and Vaughn Taylor, Pat O'Brien kept a low profile teaching at the Practice Tee in Richardson.
But he was overtaken by a strange sensation after checking on his prized pupils before the 2007 Masters. Both looked in top form when O'Brien returned home for a teaching clinic after the first round.
Turns out O'Brien made a perfect read. On Easter Sunday, he was back at Augusta National. Phil Mickelson was draping the green jacket over Johnson's shoulders, and O'Brien was about to don a hotshot-putting-guru tag. As Johnson celebrated in Butler Cabin, O'Brien walked down Magnolia Lane in silent darkness, mind racing, toward the bright lights on Washington Road.
"If I wasn't a man of faith before, I sure was after," O'Brien recalled. "I had this feeling. I knew something good was going to happen."
After years of studying his craft, O'Brien had become an overnight sensation. His reputation as a short-game expert rose dramatically. And he landed his dream job as director of instruction at Dallas' Lakewood Country Club.