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Golf Australia Express : Issue 36
COVER STORY THE “But is it fair, no. You put an average guy in between those ropes, trust me, they won't even pull it back.” Speaking about pulling the trigger on a swing with more thoughts than the Dalai Lama, Na gave us an insight to the mind of a battling golfer. "It's usually a little waggle, half-waggle, little waggle, half-waggle and then, boom, supposed to pull the trigger," he said of his pre-shot routine. "But if it doesn't work, I've got to go in pairs. So it'll go four [waggles], and if that doesn't work, it'll go six and after that, just—there's a lot going on in my head." Sounds like it. So what’s the solution Kevin? “I'm going to try to take out the whole waggle, no waggle. I'm going to try to do a little up-and- down behind the ball, but it's going to take time, practise and tournaments, and I'm going to try to take out the whole waggle. Honestly, it's going to be a battle.” Like his buddy Crane—who launched a humorous video clip on slow play in 2010—Na himself has a self-deprecating sense of humour about it all. Probably needs to. And there’s little doubt he left TPC Sawgrass on Sunday with more fans than detractors thanks in part to his brutal honesty and sense of humility about his battles. Even his playing partner Matt Kuchar— who went on to win the event— offered some kind words: “Kevin is a great guy in the locker room. I think he's nice to everybody, but he's fighting some demons. He seems to battle through it pretty well,” Kuchar said. “It's not an envious thing to go through. I'm glad it's not happening to me.” Zach Johnson, who tied for second at The Players, was grouped with Na on Saturday, and also defended his compatriot. “If you're talking about his routine and not being able to pull the trigger, I wouldn't define it as a circus,” he told reporters. “I would just say it's something he's trying to fight and trying to improve and get over, because I think he's going through some swing changes. “I don't think it necessarily got to me. I mean, I was really focused on what I was trying to do and stay in the moment.” Yet not all players were quite so generous. Tiger Woods said while he understood it was harder for some players to pull the trigger than others, slow players should be penalised a shot as soon as they’re put on the clock. “I think [it’s] very simple, if you get a warning, you get a penalty. I think that would speed it up.” Colt Knost, who missed the cut, had a red-hot crack at Na and the pace of play issue on his Twitter site. WHILE A DIVISIVE ISSUE, slow play is certainly not a new one on tour. And it’s not going away anytime soon. In the meantime, the slowest player on Tour will go away and work on a few thousand things that are on his mind. But don’t worry about him—Kevin Na will be back. Probably quicker than most of us think. OTG THE BIG Q THE RULE: Players are expected to keep up with the group in front. If they get out of position the group can be timed (or “put on the clock”). Each player has 40 seconds to hit a shot from the fairway and 60 seconds on the green once his group is on the clock. If a player in a group that is on the clock doesn't meet those standards, the player is in violation. THE PENALTY: • One bad time receives a warning • Two bad times receive a one- stroke penalty and a $5000 fine • Three bad times receive a two- stroke penalty and a $10,000 fine • Four bad times means the player is disqualified from the event SLOW PLAY