Kevin Na, who hadn’t won in almost seven years since his only PGA Tour victory, ended the drought emphatically.
Na, who left Diamond Bar High and turned pro at age 17 in 2001, carded a 6-under-par 64 to win A Tribute to the Military at the Greenbrier by five strokes over Kelly Kraft on the Old White TPC Course at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
“I wasn’t sure if it was going to come again,” said Na, who finished second in six tournaments since winning the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, where he now lives. “I was hoping it would—sooner than later. I’ve been close so many times, failed so many times.
“My putter got hot. The first day the putter felt awful, and (then) it just clicked. Every time I got over the ball it felt great, and everything felt like it was going in.”
The 34-year-old Na, who had six birdies in seven holes through No. 10 and then coasted home, finished at 19-under 261. A native of South Korea, he gave part of his victory speech in Korean for fans watching on television in Asia.
“I didn’t want to leave the Korean fans out,” said Na, who was in tears during his TV interview.
Kraft, who was tied for the lead entering the final round, could manage only a 70 in search of his first PGA Tour victory, while Brandt Snedeker collected eight birdies in a 64 and finished six shots back in a tie for third with Jason Kokrak, who had a 67.
Harold Varner III, who shared the 54-hole lead with Kraft and also was gunning for his first win on the circuit, struggled to a 72 and wound up seven strokes behind in a tie for fifth with 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann (64) of Chile, Austin Cook (66), Joel Dahmen (69) and Sam Saunders (70).
Russell Henley was one more back in solo 10th after a bogey-free 63, while defending champion Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State stumbled to a 75 and tied for 21st.
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