Tormented Kevin Na waggles his way to lead
Monday 14 May 2012
Kevin Na managed to secure the third-round lead at the Players Championship despite labouring with an infuriating inability to pull the trigger on his shots, annoying spectators, television commentators and even himself.
Na shot a bogey-free 68 to lead by a stroke from Matt Kuchar at TPC Sawgrass but despite his pinpoint shots, he was heckled at times by the crowd due to his lengthy practice strokes and multiple "waggles".
Course officials spoke to him several times during his round as he was put on the clock and had a bad time on the 16th. Na said his troubles began at Augusta last year but he has yet to work out fully why he finds it so difficult to take his shots and needs to go through a lengthy routine on each shot.
"I changed my setup starting at the Masters last year. I was trying to get more forward, trying to get the backswing more up. And because my balance at the setup is totally different, I don't feel comfortable," he said.
"I'm trying to get comfortable with my waggles. It's usually a little waggle, half waggle, little waggle, half waggle, and boom, supposed to pull the trigger. But if it doesn't work, I've got to go in pairs. So it'll go four; and if it doesn't work, it'll go six; and after that, just there's a lot going on in my head.
"I'm not being nice to myself, trust me. I'm ripping myself. But you know, there's so much on the line that I just have to sometimes back off. As ugly and as painful as it is, believe me, it's really tough for me, and I'm trying".
Na says he understands the frustrations of crowds and viewers and said it takes a toll on him. "It's pretty high stress. I mean, after I get done, I'm pretty tired because not only am I grinding for the golf tournament but I'm fighting within myself in my mind and trying to play a round of golf without backing off, without all this extra thing going on. Trust me, I get ripped, a lot. I know television, twitterers and fans are tired of me backing off.
"I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is honestly, I'm trying, and it's hard for me, too. Just bear with me and hopefully we get that [Sunday] round in."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains