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Na Holds on for Maiden PGA Tour Win
Kevin Na began the final round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas tied for the lead with Nick Watney.
But the South Korean-born 28-year-old, who moved to the U.S. with his family at the age of eight and started playing golf soon afterwards, closed with a 6-under 65 to beat Watney by two strokes and nab his first-ever win on the PGA Tour.
Na pulled away with three birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. Na also got off to a great start Sunday with five birdies and a bogey for a 4-under 31 on the front nine to forge a two-stroke lead.
His birdie run offset a bogey on the par-3 14th, giving him a total of 23-under 261. Watney, a two-time winner this year, closed with a 67 and took solo second at 263. Na's win was worth $774,000.
The victory came after Na had made 210 career appearances over eight years on the PGA Tour. "I went though a lot," said Na, who lives in Las Vegas. "I used to have nightmares about finishing second. People believed in me more than I believed in myself."
Tommy Gainey and Paul Goydos had 66s to tie for third at 18-under, while David Hearn (65), Carl Pettersson (68), Jhonattan Vegas (68), Tim Herron (69) and Spencer Levin (68) tied for fifth at 17-under.
Before his win on Sunday in the Nevada desert, Na was perhaps best known for making the highest score ever on a par-4 during a PGA Tour event. That happened this April in the Valero Texas Open when he racked up a 16 on the ninth hole at TPC San Antonio. Na endeared himself to golf fans and fellow players by treating the mistake-filled episode with class and self-deprecating humor.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/r/leaderboard/.