x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kevin Na has shown plenty of character to bounce back

Following a shockingly poor performance at the Valero Texas Open, the South Korean-born American bounced back to clinch the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Back in April this year, Kevin Na was the butt of jokes on the PGA Tour.

He hit a wild drive on the ninth hole at the Valero Texas Open and things, you could say, went from bad to worse.

He needed extra shots after his ball got trapped in an unplayable lie, he then incurred another two strokes when his ball hit a tree and rebounded on him. He ended up walking off the green having marked his card with a 15.

Yes, a 15. Just to rub salt into his wounds, the officials had a look back at the footage at the end of this player's worst ever round and actually put him down for a 16.

To be fair to Na, he called two of the penalties himself.

He was deep in the woods and nobody really saw what happened. It would have been easy for the South Korea-born American to keep his indiscretion to himself.

To his enormous credit, he faced the cameras straight afterwards and talked through every single swing in detail.

It must have been painful but it did ensure the rehabilitation process started immediately.

His road to redemption was complete on Sunday when Na won for the first time on tour in his 211th start, earning US$792,000 (Dh3 million) for beating some of the best players on the planet at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

To win so soon after a career nadir spoke volumes for his character. There surely won't be a gustier or more deserving winner this year.

ncameron@thenational.ae


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