Journeyman Kevin Na: From ‘Just Bear With Me’ to ‘Catching Up on My Wins’

BACK IN 2012 KEVIN NA was grinding on the golf course in the worst way. He was stuck. Na would stand over the ball and couldn’t pull the trigger.

All the golf world witnessed it when Na found himself leading the 2012 Players Championship. It was excruciating to watch.

“[T]rust me … I get ripped,” Na said at the time. “A lot. I know … TV, Twitter and fans are tired of me backing off. I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is, honestly, I’m trying. And it’s hard for me, too. Just bear with me.”

In 2014 Steve Williams, Adam Scott’s caddie, approached Na and said, “I never want to see you play again.”

But as ESPN’s Bob Harig wrote, Na sped up his routine and “practically sprinted to his golf ball.” He chased putts on their way to the hole. Things improved for Na on the golf course, the demons quieter if not silenced, but he still threw away wins.

Now that’s changed, including this past weekend when Na, 36, prevailed in a playoff with Patrick Cantlay to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. During the tournament, he made nearly 560 feet of putts, a PGA Tour record.

Na is like a new man.

“I’m catching up on my wins. Three seasons in a row, win No. 4 here, so let’s keep going.”

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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