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May 21, 2015

Kevin Na


DOUG MILNE:¬† Kevin Na, thanks for joining us for a few minutes, 6‑under 64 today capped off with a couple of birdies at your last two.¬† I know it's been a long day for you but certainly a good way to finish.¬† With that, just a couple comments on the round.
KEVIN NA:  You know, I wasn't sure when we were going to play this morning.  Got out of the house, the 5:00 alarm clock, 5:30 out of the house, oh, it's going to be a long day.  Fortunately I was able to get some extra sleep in the locker room, put some towels down and pulled off a little veteran move, took about an hour nap.  So I felt great when I woke up.
It was a different weather than what we expect out here.¬† It was chilly, a bit breezy and wet.¬† I started off great, hit a lot of good shots.¬† I felt like my iron play was in "A" performance today, and I made some great putts when I needed to for par.¬† You need to make some of those six, seven‑footers for par to keep your round going, and some of the key putts I needed to make to keep my round going, I made them.

Q.  Is this just a continuation from TPC Sawgrass?  You played really well there.
KEVIN NA:¬† Yes, TPC was a great week.¬† I had a great run.¬† It was nice to be back on top of the leaderboard since the last time I was there, I left with a little, I guess, bitter taste in my mouth.¬† But it was a good run.¬† I took‑‑ it was a little disappointing, but I took mostly positive out of it, gave me some confidence coming into this week.¬† I've been playing well this year and in the past few months.¬† The past couple years have been good, too.
I'm just trying to keep feeding off these good finishes, so one of these weeks at the end of the week, I'll have something right here.

Q.¬† You played well at this course before, too, I guess, but the last couple not so well.¬† What's happened‑‑ what happens when you do play well here?
KEVIN NA:  Usually if I'm driving the ball well, I'm going to have a good performance here.  I think it's like that for everybody.
From what I can remember, last year I hit it really well the first two days, and I just absolutely made nothing, and it wasn't like I played awful.  I wasn't that far off.
And this week, you know, I came in hitting the ball pretty well, and I had some confidence with the putter, and I was able to get it together on the first day.

Q.  After an inch and a half of rain last night, were you wondering what the conditions were going to be like when you did play, and how wet was it, and how important was it to play lift, clean and place today?
KEVIN NA:¬† I was surprised when they said three hours.¬† I thought they needed more time.¬† It's amazing what a good job the maintenance crew did.¬† The fairways, you were actually getting some run‑out on them.¬† It wasn't just plugging.¬† Yes, we needed to play lift, clean and place, but I was surprised how good the condition was compared to how much rain we had, so hats off to the maintenance guys.

Q.  Did you see the rough very much, and if you did, I mean, it's obviously lusher than it's been in a long time.  They haven't been able to mow it in I don't know how long.  How was it trying to advance the ball?
KEVIN NA:¬† I hit it in the rough a couple times, and it was definitely thick.¬† Usually out of here, you're catching fliers, maybe two‑club fliers, and today was a different story.¬† You hit it in the rough, you were thinking it's going to come out dead, and maybe hit an extra club.¬† There are some spots that are very heavy.¬† Fortunately I wasn't in those super‑heavy spots.
I spent most of the day in the fairways and on the greens, so that was good.

Q.  So you're lying down in the locker room.  Are you able to tune anybody out?  Is there any chatter?
KEVIN NA:  Well, I had a towel down, I made a towel for a pillow, a towel for a blanket and a towel over my head.  Extra towels.
I'm sure if I'm not out warming up 40 minutes before my tee time, my caddie is going to start yelling at people and say, where is this guy.

Q.  (No microphone.)
KEVIN NA:  No, I found a little corner where there was nobody around.  I woke up, I was like, ooh, I slept over an hour.

Q.  (No microphone.)
KEVIN NA:  The biggest advantage is I get to go have dinner at dinner time instead of 9:00.  We got out here early.  I mean, it's a disadvantage because you wake up so early and you come out here and wait, wait, wait, versus a guy in the afternoon, you wake up, you get a text message, you can stay in your hotel room.  You can plan accordingly before you even get out to the golf course.  So they had an advantage there.  But because we finished, it's nice to get it done with because you don't know if there's another cell moving in, and if there's another delay, then I'd rather be sitting in the clubhouse having lunch.

Q.  Do you feel like especially the way you've been playing lately that you're basically overdue for a win, or is it one of those things that is just going to come when it comes?
KEVIN NA:  You know, I guess there's two answers to that question.  It is yes, but golf doesn't owe anybody anything.  You've just got to go out there and keep putting yourself in that position, and one of these days you get lucky and you win.  Sometimes you're going to get beat, sometimes you're going to throw it away, sometimes you're going to steal it.
But I'm a firm believer that if I keep putting myself in that position, I'm going to get some wins.

Q.  Just pick out one shot today that you were really pleased with or turned out well or was most memorable for any reason.
KEVIN NA:  I think there was two coming down the stretch.  Sorry, I know you said one.  6, I hit a wedge, and I hit it up there about 10 inches, and I love those, where you just walk up and just kick it in.  You probably get your phone out and play some games.  Yeah, those are nice.
And then I hit another one on 8.¬† I wasn't in between clubs, but I knew I had to absolutely murder a 6‑iron to get it to the flag, and when I hit it, I knew I couldn't have hit it any better.¬† I hit it as best as I could, and rolled up two feet short of the flag.¬† I mean, I think two feet uphill for a TOUR player is a gimme.

Q.  How nice is two birdies to cap off a day and to carry over confidence if you buy into that for tomorrow?
KEVIN NA:¬† Oh, it's always nice.¬† It's a great feeling when you finish with a birdie and go birdie‑birdie.¬† 9 is a birdieable hole.¬† 8 is a difficult hole where if you‑‑ if someone gives you four pars, you won't be disappointed.¬† But 9 is a birdie hole, but the key is to hit the fairway.¬† It's also if you don't hit the fairway, it's easy to make bogey or double even.¬† I mean, we've seen it happen.
But it was very nice to finish with birdie‑birdie.
DOUG MILNE:  Kevin, thanks for your time.

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