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October 4 2011

9:45 PM

Na’s journey long but worth it

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Kevin Na’s whiff during the third round last week in Las Vegas got plenty of attention -- “It became a bigger story than it actually is,” said Na, who had done it before but not when leading the tournament. The bigger story of course was getting his first career victory after going 0-for-210.

“A lot of it was between the ears,” Na said Tuesday from the Frys.com Open. “

It was also physical.

“I think it was a little bit of my swing that didn't work coming down the stretch,” Na continued. “A little bit in the head, a little bit unlucky, a little bit of combination of everything. Sometimes you're not playing your best golf and you get lucky and you can get away with it.

“I think it just wasn't time. It wasn't meant to be. That's the only way I can think of it.”

And now that Na has won, he can turn his attention, at least at some point, to making next year’s Ryder Cup team. Should he do so, it would be for the American team even though Na was born in Korea.

When Na turned 18 he had the choice to be an American or Korean citizen. He chose the former, and his family chose to move here mostly because they wanted his older brother to go to college in the U.S. He did, going to UCLA and then graduate school at UNLV before becoming a professor back in Korea.

Na, meanwhile, never finished high school, turning professional before he graduated.

“Worked out good for him,” Na said of his brother. “Worked out just fine for me, too.”

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