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February 19, 2011

Kevin Na


LAURA HILL: We'd like to welcome Kevin Na, great round today to put yourself in position for perhaps your first PGA TOUR win. Talk about what went well and your expectations for tomorrow.
KEVIN NA: I felt like I played pretty solid today. I had few loose tee shots out there, but my irons felt really great, my wedge game felt great and rolled it great. So I think if I can find a way to put my driver in play tomorrow, I think I'll have a good chance to win.

Q. They had a lot of rain last night and then you started off today, the sun was out. What's the course like, and was it sloppy, or could you get the iron to the ball the way you wanted?
KEVIN NA: Well, actually the course was surprisingly dry. Obviously the lows are still wet, but the course played great. The course looked like it didn't -- I don't know how much it rained out here, but it looked just fine. The greens were soft where you had to worry about the spin a little bit with the wedges and the short irons, balls were backing up quite a bit. But the course was great.

Q. You haven't had a win out on TOUR here but you've had a couple second place finishes. What did you learn in those second place finishes that will help you going forward tomorrow?
KEVIN NA: You need to get lucky. You need a little luck. Obviously you need to just play your game, and hopefully at the end of the day you count up your scores and you've got the lowest one.

Q. Did you find something coming in here other than the fact that you like the golf course and it's familiar to you?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I mean, I really like the golf course. This golf course -- I first came to the golf course when I was ten years old. I came with my father. He brought me out -- back then it was the Nissan Open, and I remember watching, I saw Freddie -- who else did I see?

Q. You'll see him again tomorrow.
KEVIN NA: I'll see him again tomorrow. I saw Corey Pavin, I followed Corey Pavin, he gave me an autograph, and it was '95. I started dreaming about playing on TOUR, and maybe hopefully this will be my first win, and it would be great.
Unfortunately my dad is not here, but my mom is here. My dad was -- I said this earlier, but he was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of the year last year when we were in Korea, and he stayed there and met a great doctor who's really helping him out. After this week my mother is going back to look out for him. I'd really like to send that trophy over to him.

Q. Do you still have the Corey Pavin autograph?
KEVIN NA: I do have a picture. I still have the picture, yeah. I have that picture. It's pretty funny. Corey has got the mustache, this little chubby kid with glasses on. If you want to see it, you've got to pay me; it's that good. (Laughter.)

Q. What would it mean to make your first win here at Riviera, obviously hometown, that kind of thing?
KEVIN NA: I mean, every kid grows up and -- playing golf, a golfer kid and junior golfer grows up dreaming about winning a golf tournament, and to win it where you first came to watch a TOUR event at the area where you grew up, it would be very special. I mean, I can't find a better place than here, besides a major.

Q. I know it'll be the middle of the night in Korea, but will your dad be able to watch it?
KEVIN NA: Trust me, he's on the computer watching. He'll watch the television, he's got the computer on, and my brother moved over there January of last year, so he's probably staying up and watching it, too.

Q. How is that situation kind of affected you, driven you, inspired you?
KEVIN NA: Well, a little bit of everything. When we first found out, it was really hard. But I want to stay positive, and I just -- you know, I just try to think of him that he's healthy, and hopefully -- they really don't know what's going to happen because the next year is very important for him. He needs to take medication exactly on the dot when he needs to, and if that works out and if it gets better, he might extend his life, but who knows. I mean, I really don't want to go any further than that.

Q. How old is he, and when did he come here originally?
KEVIN NA: I think he's 56, 57. That's a good question. He was born in '54, so yeah, 56. He actually just turned 57.

Q. His name?
KEVIN NA: Yong. I mean, he taught me how to play golf, and he's caddied for me before. We won a tournament together on the Asian Tour when he was carrying the bag. So I mean, he's pretty involved with my golf game.

Q. What year was that?
KEVIN NA: '02. I don't know, I think it's '02, yeah.
LAURA HILL: Get some rest. Good luck tomorrow. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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