Kevin Na has been known for one thing since he got on tour, and that’s his inability to make it around the course in a timely manner (read: he’s one of the slowest players on tour). There are many things professional golfers want to be known for, but slow play isn’t one of them.
That used to be the only thing Na was known for … until Thursday. Because on Thursday, dear reader, Kevin Na joined a list that no golfer wants to be on. Forget slow play, Na will forever be known as the guy who carded a 16 on one hole at a PGA Tour event, which happens to be the worst score on a par 4 in PGA Tour history. I’m not sure whether I should put an arm around the guy and console him or applaud the new record.
Playing in the Valero Texas Open, Na was cruising along at 1-under for his round when he approached the ninth tee box. It was at this point that things took a horrible turn for the worse.
After blowing his tee shot into the woods and finding his ball hidden in a patch of brush, thorns and limbs, Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, decided it wasn’t worth blasting it out. So they went back to the tee, where Na proceeded to knock his second shot well right again, back into the woods.
Reload time. After hitting a provisional, Na and his caddie found his second ball. But feeling the pressure, he decided to hit from the woods. Bad idea. Na’s next shot hit a tree, ricocheted off his leg and went behind him. That’s a penalty stroke.
But from where his ball was resting, he couldn’t hit his next shot, so he took an unplayable. And that’s where Na came unglued, proceeding to hit the ball deeper into the woods with every shot, at one point almost hitting while his caddie was in front of him. I wish I was kidding.
Finally, after 12 shots, Na got out of the woods. It took him another four shots before he carded his 16 and went from 1-under to a 11-over on the scorecard. At least Na can rest easy knowing he didn’t come close to the worst one hole score in golf history, which the PGA Tour noted is a 26 from Tommy Armour in 1927.
Thankfully, the Golf Channel also had Na mic’d up for the round, meaning viewers could hear every word of the meltdown. After walking out of the woods, Na turned to his caddie and said, “How are we going to count all those shots?”
Don’t worry, Kevin, someone counted them for you. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on a chance to get your name in PGA Tour record books.