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May 22, 2015

Kevin Na


THE MODERATOR:  Kevin Na, thanks for joining us again.  Second day here.  4‑under 66 today.  Just a few comments on the round and then we'll open it up and take a few questions.
KEVIN NA:  No.  I started the day and it was pouring down rain, and I wasn't sure how much holes we were going to get in.  And luckily it lined up a little bit after the first three holes, and so did my game.  My game started lighting it up.
I made a lot of putts out there, but I hit a lot of good shots where every hole I was giving myself an opportunity for birdie.  And it's a difficult golf course.  You have to drive the ball well, and you have small target greens, and I think my greens in regulation had to be high.  I don't know what it was, but if I can keep up what I did the first two days, I think it'll be good on the weekend.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  Before we take questions, I do have to ask, chicken dance versus the Big Bird dance.
KEVIN NA:  I want to call it the Big Bird dance.  Yeah.  I don't know.  It was‑‑ just came out.  I wasn't really thinking about it.  You know, the crowd has been very supportive.  I felt like I was in Texas.  Tony Finau asked me, hey, are you from this area?  He was kidding, obviously, but that's how much support I felt.
And you know, when the crowd went wild on that hole, I gave them a little show.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  With that, we'll open it up and take a few questions.

Q.  Kevin, we just gotta ask, what happened on 18 and what did they tell you when you got there and just what was your decision as far as the drop?
KEVIN NA:  Well, obviously that hole requires a draw off the tee, and ball flight's a draw.  It's a difficult tee shot, but nothing I can't pull off.
You know, I just came out of it a little bit.  It wasn't even that bad.  It hit the tree, goes right, and it looked like it was in the hazard.  And they said my ball went in the hazard, so they had a point where my ball went in.
You can take equal distance on the opposite side of the hazard, which I knew, and that comes in handy once in a while, which gave me somewhat of a clearer shot to the green.  I had to go‑‑ where I dropped, I could get another drop because the bleachers were in the way, but that's the only place I can play from.  And I was far enough back where I could hit it over the bleachers, and I dropped it there and I hit a great shot over the bleachers, and I made a good bogey.

Q.  How different were conditions today?  Some guys earlier in the day had some struggles.  Was the wind up or anything like that?
KEVIN NA:  Well, we had the wind yesterday.  And today‑‑ in the morning yesterday was a bit windy.  Today it wasn't so windy, but it was wet out there.  I felt like, especially in the first nine, I felt like I had to take half a club more because there was so much humidity in the air and the ball wasn't flying very far.  But in the Back 9 it was okay.
But you know, the greens were getting a little beat up because it was so late in the day, but overall, I can't believe how playable this golf course is right now for how much rain they've had.  I mean the maintenance guys must be doing something right, and I really appreciate those guys.

Q.  Does it play longer?
KEVIN NA:  Yes.  It'll play longer because the ball is not running out.  This golf course should play hard and fast.  Maybe another club up off the tee sometimes on a few of the holes.

Q.  Kevin, of all the courses on TOUR, where does this one rank in terms of how it suits your game and your eye, and a lot of the players that have had success here look back, they love this course.  They think it fits them perfectly.  Do you feel like that's kind of the case?
KEVIN NA:  Yeah.  I think those two golf courses that gives the plaid jacket away, it kind of fits my game.  I'd say it's coming around‑‑ I'd say somewhere around Top 5 that I like and it fits my eye.  The one I won, I guess.  But actually, it's not.  It's not.
But I'd say here, Hilton Head, Sawgrass, even though I did take Hilton Head off.  My back was bothering me.  Here and Sawgrass.  Those are the ones that just pops into my head right now.

Q.  Kevin, just talk about your confidence level going into the weekend and just some of the experiences like you talked about earlier this year that you've already had?
KEVIN NA:  You know, I'm just having a lot more fun.  Obviously, if you're playing well, it's easier to have fun.  But I let the bogeys not bother me as much, and I'm swinging it well.  My coach and I‑‑ you know, my coach, Don Brown, and I have been working on a lot of stuff the past two years.  My ball striking is the best ever.  A lot of my lessons of late have been over the phone.  But low maintenance it's been.
So you know, things are going well for me.  So I hope it keeps going well and I'll be here on Sunday.

Q.  You had three birdie long putts in the 20, 30 foot range, including the one that triggered the nice dance on the 13th.  Followed it up with a good one at 14.  Greens rolling really well for you?  Are you just reading the lines this week or just fits your eye?
KEVIN NA:  Well, this bentgrass, you put it on line, it's going to go in.  The key is obviously reading them right.  Kenny and I have been doing a good job reading these greens, and I've been doing my part putting it on line, and you know, these greens, you can make putts out here.  And they're small greens, so every time you're on the green, you're in range of making a putt.  So‑‑

Q.  Kevin, just going back to 18, that was a blind shot, I assume, over the 10th?
KEVIN NA:  Yeah.

Q.  So what were you aiming at?  How did you know where to go?
KEVIN NA:  I was aiming‑‑ Kenny got me focused even over the h.  I don't even know what word it was.  Hospitality tent maybe.

Q.  It says Hogan on it.
KEVIN NA:  It says Hogan.  Okay.  We were so focused on that h that I didn't even know what word it was.  I guess that's a good thing.  Yeah, that's where I was focused on and I was just trying to hit it over that h, and I probably hit it‑‑ and Kenny gave me somewhat of a space line, and I hit it pretty darn close to that h and ended up in the spot I wanted to be.

Q.  And when you have a bogey like that, is that almost kind of a good feeling?
KEVIN NA:  Yeah, it actually is.  I mean you know, when I hit it‑‑ when I got up there and they told me I hit the tree and it went in the hazard, I'm thinking, oh, how can I get out of here with 5, and after I dropped it, I had a shot over the bleachers, and I'm trying to stay somewhere on the green, 2‑putt, anywhere on the green, 2‑putt and get out of here with 5.  But thinking back now, I wasn't thinking about it so much then, which is good.  I mean you pull it at all it's in the hazard.  You got a blind shot, you bail out right and you're making 6, maybe 7.  6 easy and 7 no problem.  So happy to walk out with 5.

Q.  What came first, the great scores or the having fun?
KEVIN NA:  That's a good question.  I don't know.  I think‑‑

Q.  (No microphone).
KEVIN NA:  I think so.  I think so.  I think, you know, I treat it more like a game than a job, I guess.  And I think that made it easier.  But we all know it's a job, too.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Kevin, we appreciate your time again.
KEVIN NA:  Thanks, guys.

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