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April 14, 2007

Kevin Na


STEWART MOORE: We welcome Kevin Na to the media center here at the Verizon Heritage after a third-round 66. Kevin, if you would maybe just go through your round, hit a couple highlights for everyone.
KEVIN NA: I mean, I birdied the first two par 5s like you're supposed to, and on 7, off the back fringe, I made a great putt for a birdie.
8, I had a mud ball in the fairway. That fairway has been kind of soft this week, and I had a punch one so it didn't float in the air and go sideways and I had to run over the green and made bogey, so that was a little unfortunate.
Made a great birdie on 9.
13, hit it close, about six feet, made birdie.
16, sand wedge, about four feet.
And 17 was a great chip-in. I was trying to keep it below the hole off the tee. 169, hit 9-iron, so just below the hole, and I hit a good chip and it went in.
18, I got lucky off the tee, hit a tree and came back in bounds. I shouldn't have hit driver. I've been hitting 3-wood all week and I've been telling myself it's just a 3-wood hole. Today for some reason I was trying to make another birdie on the last hole, trying to squeeze driver down the right side of the fairway, and that's only a 15-yard fairway on the right side and I came up on it a little bit. That OB is only 15 yards off the fairway, not even that.
I think the smart play is just hit 3-wood where that fairway sticks out to the left.

Q. Early on in your career you had some good success out here, admittedly got off to a little slower start this year. What's the difference between earlier this year and now, and what's it going to take for you to come out victorious tomorrow? Obviously you're playing well. Is there anything you'll do differently tomorrow?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I have got off to a bad start this year, but I've only played six events and I've got a long year ahead of me. I've been working very hard. I haven't played a tournament the last month. I decided not to play the Shell Houston Open. I wasn't feeling too well. So I worked really hard for the month off, maybe too hard. I was developing a little bit of tendonitis.
I think just hard practice and things started going my way this week and confidence grew, and I think tomorrow, the condition it's going to be, it's just a matter of trusting my swing a little more. I let a few get away today and this week, but I think just keep trusting my swing, keep doing what I'm doing, I'll be all right.

Q. You had a pretty good performance here, I think it was 2004. What is it about Harbour Town that you like?
KEVIN NA: I really like this golf course. I look forward to coming back to it every year, and I think that's a different mindset, instead of a golf course you're going to that you don't really think so much about, just like, ah, just another week. But Harbour Town is a place where I go, I've been waiting for this week. I like this golf course.
So I think just that positive attitude is very good towards your game. And I think this golf course suits my game.

Q. Are you a pretty good mudder? It seems like we're going to get a lot of rain between now and the time you tee off tomorrow.
KEVIN NA: I'm sorry?

Q. Do you play well in wet conditions?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I mean, I don't mind. I don't think it's going to rain tomorrow when we play. I think the rain is going to soften up the greens where it'll be holding the greens and it'll be easier. But with the wind that's supposed to be blowing pretty hard, I think it'll be very difficult.
I have played in the rain. I played a little bit on the European Tour when I was 19, and it rained every week (laughing). So I do know how to play in the rain. But I don't think we'll be playing in the rain tomorrow.

Q. What do you think about being in the last group on Sunday?
KEVIN NA: I'm pretty excited. I've played with Ernie before, and I'll be playing with him again tomorrow, and Jerry, a three-ball. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited, and I think it's going to be a great day tomorrow.

Q. Do you close car doors in a different manner now?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I kick it now (laughter).

Q. As I recall, last year you made the cut pretty narrowly and maybe even had to make a birdie at No. 9 coming in to make it.
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I hit driver off the tee on 9 to the mid left hole location, hit a great chip to about a foot to make the cut on the number, and I was pretty happy about that.
Yeah, I actually did the same thing this week on Friday, hit driver off the tee, similar spot, made birdie.

Q. It seems like this is the kind of place where the more you go around it, the better feel you get for it.
KEVIN NA: Oh, definitely. The more you play it, the more local knowledge you get, especially like 17. You have a ten-footer downhill. You can run it five, six feet by easily. I decided to hit it short of the green and give myself a chance that way, and I happened to make birdie.
So things like that. I mean, even today like hitting driver on 18, now I know. I got a great break. Now I know -- I learned another thing. No matter what, this is not a driver hole, unless it's dead into the wind. There's no point of trying to squeeze down that right fairway to try and give yourself a better angle. You're trying to dissect it out there but there's no point of doing that on that hole, so you learn.

Q. You talked about hitting driver on 9. My guess is not many people are doing that.
KEVIN NA: It's, I think, the only hole location you can do it is that left part of the green. The first day I hit 4-iron, today I hit 4-iron and made birdie all three ways.

Q. So club selection for you tomorrow with guys like Ernie, Jerry Kelly, similar?
KEVIN NA: I mean, I'll peek. Probably about a club longer than me.

Q. Make a comment on the kid playing with the two old guys tomorrow. Make a comment about that.
KEVIN NA: I don't think they're that old (laughter). I mean, I've got nothing to lose. I'm playing against Ernie Els. He's a major winner. Jerry Kelly is obviously a great player. I look at it as I've got nothing to lose. I'll just go play my best, and hopefully I come out ahead. I've been in that situation plenty of times. I've finished second twice. I definitely feel like when I did finish second that I didn't -- I played my game, but I just got outplayed. Phil had a great Sunday at Memorial. What can I do? Lost to Ogilvy in a playoff, and I thought I had that tournament won.

Q. As far as the car door incident, will you go into a little bit of how that happened?
KEVIN NA: I don't even want to think about it. It was just a freak accident. I guess something like that happens in your life, and I think what's most important is how you recover.

Q. When did you get to town this week?
KEVIN NA: Sunday afternoon. I like to get here just because I haven't gotten in The Masters the last few years -- every year. I haven't gotten in the Masters yet, I should say. I did get close to getting in the Masters two years ago. I just come here early because I like this place, and I like to take one extra practice round.
STEWART MOORE: Kevin Na, thanks for taking the time. We appreciate it.

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