April 18 2012
Kevin Na didn't have to wait eight years like Craig Stadler did.
On Monday, just 362 days removed from the ignominious 16 he made at the ninth hole of TPC San Antonio in the first round of the Valero Texas Open, Na returned to the scene of the "crime" -- armed with a chain saw.
Na's troubles that day started when he had to take an unplayable lie off the tee. He also whiffed a shot, took five from the forest and incurred a two-stroke penalty when the ball hit a tree and came back and hit him.
To add insult to injury, Na had to watch the video replay before signing his scorecard to make sure his count was correct. He thought he'd made 15 but it was actually a stroke higher, contributing to an 80 and missed cut.
The return visit was made because Na is hosting next week's edition of "Inside the PGA TOUR."
"We were trying to come up with some creative and fun ideas to commemorate my performance on 9 last year and this seemed like a fun way to go back," Na told USA Today. "It was a lot of fun, that chainsaw had a pretty good kick to it."
Stadler's mishap came at Torrey Pines during the third round of the 1987 Shearson Lehman Brothers-Andy Williams San Diego Open. His tee shot on the 14th hole at Torrey Pines South had landed by a tree and he had to stand on his knees to get the ball under a low-hanging branch.
Before he hit the ball, though, Stadler placed a towel on the damp ground to protect his pants. He finished the round in second place but was disqualified after TV viewers called to protest that Stadler had improved his stance with the towel.
Since he did not assess himself a two-stroke penalty before signing his card, Stadler was disqualified. Eight years later, with the tree dying, tournament officials asked Stadler if he wanted to come cut it down – and like Na, he accepted.