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January 21, 2016

Kevin Na

La Quinta, California

Q. What are your thoughts on the golf courses? How many have you played so far?
KEVIN NA: I played two. Last week before -- not last week, the week before Sony, I came out and I played a few holes out here. I actually got to play both golf courses. They were in good shape, but the greens were a little slow. But right now the greens are perfect. They're perfect speed where you can be aggressive but not too quick.

Q. Did you ever go through Q-School here?
KEVIN NA: No, I went through at Orange County National.

Q. So even years, odd years you were there?
KEVIN NA: Yes, I was at the odd years.

Q. Okay.
KEVIN NA: But you got on the TOUR on the even years.

Q. You've obviously played this tournament quite a bit. So you're used to those two courses across the street.

Q. How big of a change is it?
KEVIN NA: It's quite a bit of a change. The Nicklaus, no. But the Stadium, yes. We get to play these courses every year and you get comfortable. You don't even have to have play a practice round, you just want to go out and -- we're playing holes just to see how the course is playing, how it's bouncing, the firmness or the wetness, whatever the rough might be. But it's a big change. I think the Stadium's going to play a lot more difficult than the Palmer Course, in my opinion. But the Nicklaus Course will be about the same.

Q. You got off to a terrific start in this wraparound season.
KEVIN NA: Yes, I did. It worked out good.

Q. Second, second, third?

Q. And now you've had a little break there.
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I had quite a bit of a break.

Q. Is that second, second, third game still with you or are you looking to find that again?
KEVIN NA: Oh, I'm looking to find that again. I'll be honest. I think it was unfortunate that the season kind of ended with the way I was playing. Obviously, China I was just totally drained, it was four weeks in a row, flying overseas. But I wish there was a few more tournaments maybe a week or two off. But you know what, it was a great, great streak that I had and it doesn't mean I can't do it again and go on another three weeks like that. Obviously, when you have, what, close to two months off, you're going to be rusty. Last week I didn't play that bad, I was a little rusty. For being rusty, I didn't feel like I played that bad. I know 28th is not that fancy a finish, not a spectacular finish, but for the first tournament of the year, you knock the rust off, you play four rounds. So I'm ready to go here.

Q. You're a southern California guy, Diamond Bar?
KEVIN NA: Still at heart I'm a So Cal guy.

Q. Was this tournament a tournament you ever came out to or did you focus on L.A.?
KEVIN NA: No, unfortunately, I went out to L.A. and watched Riviera. I didn't quite make it out here. But I always knew about this tournament.

Q. Was there a player you patterned your game after?
KEVIN NA: When I was growing up you mean?

Q. Yeah. Who was your boyhood hero?
KEVIN NA: We all watched Tiger, right? And Fred Couples, Davis Love. Actually, my coach knew Corey Pavin a little bit. When he was playing out at Riviera, at the time, my coach at the time, I went out and followed him. I remember getting Corey's autograph. I actually have a picture of Corey, when I met him when I was nine and when I met him when I was 19. And I was this fat little kid, when I was nine, with these glasses; and then me when I was a professional when I was 19. That's kind of cool.

Q. Need to go back and do another one with him. Corey won here.
KEVIN NA: He's won just about everywhere. I mean, how good is he? Obviously, Fred Couples, I was a fan, obviously, as a kid. Same with Davis. Those were the guys back in the '90s, the guys that were killing it.

Q. You've kind of been so good over the last couple of years, you're like a top-10, even a top-5 machine. When do you feel like you're going to go on one of those Patrick Reed runs where you won twice in three times?
KEVIN NA: I hope. So I keep telling myself that the glass is half full and this is only going to help me get better and stronger. But at the same time it's like, when am I going to get my share? Because I feel like I haven't got my share. And I put myself in position plenty of times. Don't get me wrong, I've blown plenty of tournaments myself. But at the same time I feel like I've gotten beat in a few events. Just look at the last few tournaments, I mean, who was that? Emiliano making that long putt on the last hole to get in the playoff. Obviously I had a 5- or 6-footer. And then Matsuyama birdieing the 18th hole. At Vegas, Smylie shot 61? It's hard to beat golf like that. I'd like somebody to make a bogey on the last hole and hand me the title. Or a double.

Q. That's why people say it's so hard to win, because you've played well enough to win a dozen times maybe and it just doesn't, there's always that one person.
KEVIN NA: I look at my career and I look at the number of top-10 finishes I've had and you compare it to the other guys. And I keep up with a lot of guys, I'm up there with a lot of top-10 finishes in career money. You look at the guys -- I think somebody did a story on me and I think they said something about my career money, guys in the top-50 in career money, I'm the only guy with one win. So, do you look at that as, well, I've got a lot out of my game? Or do you look at that as, boy, I haven't gotten my share of the wins.

Q. Is it consistency maybe?
KEVIN NA: Consistency is nice. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful where I'm at in my career and to be able to play out here for years.

Q. Patrick Reed was in here today saying that the streak he's on now is better than the streak he was on two years ago when he won twice before the Masters. Because he's playing so much more consistently.
KEVIN NA: Yeah, so, we have this conversation, what would you rather do, win once every other year but you're nowhere near the top-50 in the world? You know, there's guys like that. That just hot and cold. Or you're one of those guys that are always top-50 in the world and always make the TOUR Championship, but you got no wins or maybe only one win in your career. It's kind of a toss up.

Q. It's almost like be careful when you wish for, you want the other, but you're getting the other. Is there a time of the year specifically that you feel more comfortable with your game like you look forward to some time of the year, is it summer or fall?
KEVIN NA: I think the West Coast Swing I look forward to, and then the fall. I think the summer, the heat, it's tough on me.

Q. Traditionally, is that when you've played your best?
KEVIN NA: I think so. If you look at the course of my career, I think I've played well beginning of the season and then towards the end in the fall. Versus the summer I think I've done okay, but not quite as well. I could be wrong, but I think from on top of my head.

Q. So from that perspective to you like the change in the season to the wrap around?
KEVIN NA: I don't mind the wrap around season at all.

Q. I'm told by my son-in-law who accuses me of being a very slow golfer, and deliberate is the term I use, you get accusations of being a slow guy.
KEVIN NA: Yes. Um-hum.

Q. Is that a joke for you or is that --
KEVIN NA: There is no joke about that. I mean, obviously --

Q. You take that personally and seriously?
KEVIN NA: No, I don't take it personally, I just try to improve on my pace of play and I think I have over the years. But at the same time, when the whole world saw me -- well, technically, what they call slow -- I had the yips. I couldn't take the club back. So is there a difference? Yeah, I think so. Obviously, I wasn't the fastest player at the time anyway, but there's a difference when I had the yips. But at the same time, over the years, after that incidents, I've improved myself, I've gotten better, I still got work to do. But everyone's wired differently. Some people they need that extra few seconds to get comfortable. Some guys, they can rapid fire.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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