This is why I felt such empathy and awe this morning on reading about PGA Professional Kevin Na’s blow up on No. 8 at the Texas Open at the TPC San Antonio – AT&T Oaks Course yesterday. Na took “A 16 on a Par 4? Hackers Laugh and Cry With a Humbled Pro.”
PGA Golfer John Day once took an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole at Bay Hill in 1998. Still, golf writer Bill Pennington in The New York Times says Na has “emerged a folk hero” to the legions of golf hackers who can relate to similar, if not worse hole blow ups on a challenging golf course.
Na shanked his ball into one of the magnificent stands of mature oaks lining the course and when he re-hit from the tee box, it sailed again into the same general area of vines, scrub and trees.
Any golfer who has ever had a bad lie behind a tree or a ball buried in heavy brush will understand what happened to Na. I once knocked the sunglasses off my face by hitting a ball square into a scrub bush in front of me only to have the ball violently ricochet back at me. I was lucky not to be hurt. Taking a 10 on that hole, I could only laugh uproariously with my playing partners afterward about my near broken-nose experience. Ah, the fun of golf.
Na’s struggles can be commiserated on the video clip below.