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August 21, 2018

Kevin Na

Old Westbury, New York

SHARON SHIN: We would like to welcome Kevin Na to the interview room.

Kevin had four Top-10 finishes, including a win at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier this season.

Kevin, just your overall thoughts at being at the first FedExCup event this season?

KEVIN NA: Very excited about being in the Playoffs. It's obviously the most important time of the year where you want to put yourself in a good position leading to the Playoffs but at the same time points are quadrupled, so it's pretty important.

Obviously I'm in a good position starting the Playoffs. Probably, doing my math, probably one Top-10 out of the first three will lock me into THE TOUR Championship and that's the goal is to get to THE TOUR Championship and have a chance at the FedExCup.

SHARON SHIN: As you know, Paramus is very heavily Korean-populated.


SHARON SHIN: Being Korean, can you talk about your roots and when you moved to the States?

KEVIN NA: So I moved to the States when I was eight with my parents. We only speak Korean in the family. I only speak Korean to my daughter because I know she's going to learn English, so we only speak Korean in the house as of now.

And I love coming to Paramus. My caddie, Kenny, this is where he grew up. This is his hometown and not only that, I love the food here. We were at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong yesterday with all the Korean players. Michael bought dinner. It was a heavy bill, but he paid dinner. He wanted to take everybody out after his win.

There's some great Korean restaurants here all by Fort Lee. So I made sure I got a hotel kind of in between here and Fort Lee so I can go out to dinner over there. So you might see me around hanging around Fort Lee.

Q. With your most recent win, what can you take from that tournament to get another win?
KEVIN NA: I felt really comfortable. I knew I had a good chance going into Sunday but I think the best thing I did about that Sunday was I didn't get ahead of myself. I was staying in the moment and focusing on the shot, what was given in front of me and I think that was the key to winning golf tournaments is when you start getting ahead of yourself, you start putting additional pressure that you don't really need.

Obviously I've had a lot of Top-10s in my career, 60-some Top 10s, and you know, the number ratio with number of wins and Top-10 doesn't match out. I'm hoping I can catch up to that so where it's reasonable. Hopefully more of my Top 10s are wins.

Q. The par 4, 12th hole, short drivable par 4 --
KEVIN NA: Used to be five or something -- you're talking about this week? They swapped it.

Q. What's your strategy? Do you go for it every day? Do you lay up? Do you have spots you want to lay up?
KEVIN NA: I want to go for it but I've got to do a lot of convincing to my caddie. He and I have some interesting conversations out there. He's a guy that's going to speak his mind, so I think depending where the pin is and where I feel, I'll hit driver a couple days and a couple days I'll lay up. It's not an easy hole. I've seen where Phil hit it.

Q. I asked James this, too. Do you see a day where the foothold the Korean golfers have gotten on the PGA TOUR could expand into the kind of dominance that happened on the LPGA after Se Ri Pak broke through in the late 90s?
KEVIN NA: There's a lot of good Korean golfers of Korean descent all around the world, not just on this tour. Obviously LPGA being the most dominant, and the PGA TOURS, players on the Web.com, Japan Tour, a couple guys in Europe.

Everywhere in the world, some Korean guy is winning -- men and women are winning golf tournaments. It's pretty impressive to see. Obviously golf being a very popular sport in Korea, and as many junior golfers are playing and how much they practice, it's incredible.

My brother has a golf academy in Korea called Team Na Academy, and I go there and watch these kids practice, and the amount of time they put in is amazing. They are hard-working and I think that's kind of the Korean mentality is they don't give up. They work hard, whether that's over time or whatever it takes.

Do I think the PGA TOUR is going to be as much as the LPGA Tour? No. But I think as number of the guys with the Korean descent on this tour being close to a dozen is pretty incredible, because you look at any other countries, obviously Australia being one of the top guys with the number of guys on Tour, Korea right up there.

I know you have guys like James Hahn, myself, Michael Kim with the American nationality, but if you count all the Korean descent guys, it's about a dozen of us. I think that's very, very impressive, and you can't really compare LPGA to the PGA TOUR. I think you're not comparing apples-to-apples in my opinion.

But I think it's pretty impressive what the Korean golf world has been doing.

Q. Where would you rank priorities for this season, as opposed to getting to a win, getting to East Lake and getting to THE TOUR Championship and getting to The Ryder Cup team, where do those things fall on your wish list?
KEVIN NA: So we kind of had a similar talk with Kenny, my caddie, the other day. I think win, No. 1. Ryder Cup, No. 2. TOUR Championship, No. 3.

I know I'm at the playoff event, but to have your name -- first of all, winning takes care of everything. And Ryder Cup, the history Ryder Cup has, and to be a part of a Ryder Cup Team and say you were a member of The Ryder Cup Team is pretty cool.

If I can somehow get my name on one of those lists of players that play The Ryder Cup; maybe at the end of my career, instead of saying, you know, you probably say, I had X amount of wins; and I played X amount of Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, I think is pretty cool.

SHARON SHIN: Thank you for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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