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Golf Australia Express : Issue 36
COVER STORY THE KEVINNAPLAYS slowly. He makes the Friday cut on the weekend. He finishes his round in the group behind him. And he tees off for Round 3 on Sunday. Jokes aside, the 28-year- old American golfer is agonising to watch. Most fans of the game have already turned away by the sixth waggle and second redress of his ball. He backs away constantly, waggles like he’s suffering from delirium tremens, and deliberately swings over the top of the ball like a hacker, before starting the whole 10-step routine again. Sometimes he does it three times. Taking over the mantle of the Tour’s slowest player from his good friend Ben Crane over the past few seasons, it was Na’s latest display of sluggishness at The Players that has brought him the most unwanted attention. LEADING THE $9.5 MILLION event after three painfully-long rounds, Na told reporters he would focus on a completely new pre-shot routine that would free him from being the laughing stock on Tour. He was going to try and fight all the swing thoughts in his mind as he stood over the ball. He asked that fans be patient with him. Then on Sunday at The Players—with the biggest win of his career in sight—impatient hecklers followed Na around, muttering things like “pull the trigger” even before he addressed his ball, while others taunted him by singing “Nah, nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey, hey, hey, goodbye” after he pulled his tee shot into the drink at 13. It seems golf fans could wait no longer. Slow golfers beware. Visibly ‘rushing’ his game after the front nine, it became clear Na was feeling more pressure than the weight of the swing- thought demons he was fighting on each and every swing. Despite leading at the start of Day 4, he finished with a final-round 4-over 76 to share in a tie for seventh. He played three great rounds and one bad one. Probably fair to say he had enough on his mind without all the Sunday hecklers. YET NA REFUSES TO get stuck into the fans like, say, Robert Allenby would. “Honestly part of it, I deserve it. I mean, I'm being honest,” he said. Kevin Na's pre-shot routine is one of the more bizarre sights in golf. Check it out on the video above. "It's usually a little waggle, half-waggle, little waggle, half- waggle and then, boom, supposed to pull the trigger."