‘Incompetent’ Kevin Na wins in the aftermath of 2nd round sluggishness

Kevin I. AFP Yonhap News

The first round of the Sony Open (total prize money of $7.5 million) before the New Year’s opening game of the PGA Tour held on the 14th. Last year’s winner of this competition, Korean-American Kevin Na (38), shot 9-under 61 with one eagle and seven birdies without a bogey on the first day, putting his name at the top of the list, and defense of the title seemed powerful. However, on the second day, he threw out three bogeys and was sluggish with a 1-over par, and was pushed down to a tie for 16th. Desperate Kevin Na performed well by reducing 3 strokes in the 3rd round, but could not completely escape the aftermath of the 2nd round sluggishness.

Kevin Na recorded a 3-under par 67 with four birdies and one bogey in the third day of the Sony Open held at the Waialai Country Club (par 70, 744 yards) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA on the 16th. With a three-day total of 11-under 199, Kevin Na moved up the ranking to a tie for 11th. It is 7 strokes behind the solo leader Russell Henry (33, USA). Kevin I changed the first birdie on the 2nd hole (par 4) to a 4th hole (par 3) bogey, and there was no bogey after that, but I only cut three strokes on the 5th, 9th, and 15th holes.

Henry shot a 3-under 67 with five birdies and two bogeys that day, recording a total of 18-under-par 192 for three days, maintaining a solo lead in the third round following the second round. On this day, ‘Moving Day’, Hideki Matsuyama (30, Japan) performed outstandingly. He drove seven birdies without a bogey and reduced seven strokes, moving up the ranks from tied 5th to solo 2nd with a mid-total 16-under 194. Matsuyama, ranked 19th in the world ranking, wore a green jacket last year, setting the record for the first Asian player to win the Masters Tournament, and achieved 7 victories on the PGA Tour at the Jojo Championship in Japan in October. It is two strokes behind leader Henry, so a fierce competition for the championship is expected in the final round.

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