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
Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Dominika Cibulkova match preview
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal personally stepped in to block Adnan Januzaj's loan move to PSG
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Juan Cuadrado battle; Douglas Costa wants move; Paul Pogba possible
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes