The American recovered from a triple-bogey to beat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff.
Kevin Na Secures 4th PGA Tour Title At Shriners Open
2019 is turning out to be quite the year for 36-year-old American Kevin Na. Earlier this year he secured victory at the Charles Schwab Challenge and this week he got into the winners circle once again, this time at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open hosted in Las Vegas.
If truth be told Na made it difficult for himself when he had the tournament victory in his grasp. Heading into the back-nine he had a three-shot lead but a triple-bogey at the 10th hole let the rest of the field back in the game, especially fellow American Patrick Cantlay.
Cantlay took the lead after Na found the water on the 16th but gave it straight back after finding the water himself on the 17th. Na, who had an incredible putting week, holed a 22-foot putt for par to level the scores.
“The 10th was hard to shake it off, but I made some great putts coming down the stretch,” Na said.
“I was just grinding, grinding everything I can to make that putt. I’m sure my emotions showed that.”
Both players then parred the 18th to head into a playoff which resulted in a trip back down the 461-yard par-4. Playing it the first time, both players birdied and back they went but this time around Na parred to Cantlay’s bogey, to win the 4th PGA Tour title of his career.
Given he has now won twice in 2019, Na admitted to turning his attention to possibly getting a captains pick from Tiger Woods for the 2019 Presidents Cup.
“I’m hoping he texts me. If not, I’m going to be texting him,” Na quipped.
“You know, during the Playoffs I had the birth of my second child where I missed the BMW Championship. I was injured quite a bit last season. I only played 19 events, which is six to seven short of my normal.
“So I was a little bit behind on the points but I got two wins in this calendar year, so hopefully he’s keeping an eye on me. I could make some putts. I’m a good match-play player. I don’t know. I keep trying to sell myself. Hopefully he considers me.”
Indeed given Na’s incredible putting week, and the fact matchplay tends to resolve around putting, Woods may be looking to include the 36-year-old. For the week Na holed a mammoth 558-feet 11 inches of putts during the 72 regulation holes which is a record.
He also gained a ridiculous +14.263 in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Leaderboard
1. Kevin Na -23
2. Patrick Cantlay -23
3. Pat Perez -21
T4 Bryson DeChambeau -20
T4 Adam Hadwin -20
T4 Brian Stuard -20
T7 Brian Gay -19
T7 Webb Simpson -19
T9 Joel Dahmen -18
T9 Denny McCarthy -18
T9 Tony Finau -18
T9 Lucas Glover -18