Golf demons got the best of Kevin Na
By mustang6560 on 5/14/12
In every triumph, there is failure.

And at the Players Championship Sunday, Kevin Na ended up on the wrong side of history.

The Las Vegas resident held the 54-hole lead at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass but fell short in his bid to capture his second title on the PGA Tour. Kevin shot a disappointing four-over par 76 in the final round to finish in a three-way tie for seventh place.

Not only did Kevin have to fight the pressure of holding the final round lead at the "Fifth Major" and the challenges of the Stadium Course, he also had to battle a few ornery spectators in the gallery.

Kevin is known more for being a slow player and his 16 at the Valero Texas Open than he is for his victory last fall at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. And if you watched any of the weekend coverage of the Players, then you probably noticed Kevin's "demon". Prior to several shots, Kevin would back off of the ball after he addressed it, which only served to increase the the heckling.
It is what it is. I do need to work on what I need to‑‑ I do need to work on my pre‑shot routine. I do need to play faster. But the average golfer has no clue how much pressure we're playing under and how tough it is and how much of a fight for it it is mentally. I honestly think with all that going on, I did pretty well fighting. I had a good fight. I hung in there, so you know what, I just take the positives from it.
I felt bad for Kevin because you could tell he did not feel comfortable on the golf course yesterday. It was tough to watch him start his backswing and then intentionally miss it on the follow swing because he did not feel comfortable. It got to the point yesterday where it seemed as though Charles Barkley was in his head.

I hope Kevin is able to make the necessary adjustments to his pre-shot routine to correct his "demon". Matt Kuchar said it best when he said "It's not an envious thing to go through. I'm glad it's not happening to me."

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Image via Flickr, Keith Allison

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[ comments ]
Mandelbaum! says:
I feel bad for him, too. It's got to be a pressure cooker out there.

There's no excuse for heckling a golfer. If you do that, you're just an a**hole. The same goes for the guy that shouts anything the moment a ball is hit.
kingwood hacker says:
It was hard to watch. Makes you want to turn the channel in case it's contagious.

FYI, the 16 was at the Valero, not the Shell
clevelandstever says:
Can someone explain to me the sequence on #18? His ball landed in what appeared to be a playable area, yet he got to drop inside of that area onto the cart path without penalty? Was the clump of crap he landed in deemed unplayable and he got free relief?
clevelandstever says:
@Mandelbaum! I agree completely. If you are heckling you don't "get" the sport of golf, and shouldn't even be there. And while we are talking about shouting things out, can we please stop yelling "Get in the hole!" every time some hits the ball. You want to yell it as a ball is tricking downhill towards the cup on an approach shot, fine, if you are screaming it as I guy hits a tee shot on a 550 yard par 5, you are an a**hole. It's not funny or ironic, it's just stupid.
legitimatebeef says:
The media made way too much out of this, big surprise. Shows you how hopelessly conformist the world of pro golf is. Anyone who steps out of the norm is either reviled or lavished with over the top praise (Rickie Fowler). The reporting focused on Kevin Na's "demons" while losing sight of the play that got him in contention. Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller were fumbling all over themselves trying to spin this story and it got old real fast. Anyways Kevin Na had already stutter stepped his way to victory as recently as last fall so this is hardly new.
srogers13 says:
Clevelandstever, where he landed was deemed ground under repair, so he got a free drop, which his nearest area just happened to be the cart path. He could have then gotten relief from the cart path if he desired, but decided he had a better lie there than if he took another drop.
Swingin Mamaw says:
I am with clevelandstever, what the...? Drop ON the path..???
chief_broom says:
I understood the reason Na got a free drop was that his stance was on the cart path. My question is though that I thought that whenever you choose to take relief like that you are required to take complete relief. In other words he was still standing on the path after his drop? Obviously what he did was correct, but my understanding of the rule must be flawed.
srogers13 says:
I think if you go back and look, where his tee sot ended up was in an area of ground between the cart path and the flowers, where the ground was completely chewed up, like someone had done some digging there, and replaced the turf. So that area had been declared ground under repair, and his nearest point of relief (two club lengths, no nearer the hole) was dropping on the cart path. After taking the drop, he could then have chosen to take relief from the cart path, but chose not to, because he had a better lie on the cart path, than from the rough. But if e chose to take relief from the cart path, he would have had to taken full relief from the path.
mmontisano says:
the only time heckling is allowed on the course is when one of your friends absolutely blisters a drive down the middle of the fairway, to which you say, "nice shot, a**hole."
Matt F says:
1000 points to badcaddy. I believe Na appologised to his playing partners for his slow pay after each round.
Banker85 says:
it was sad to watch. really felt for the guy
[ post comment ]
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