clearn.png
Thursday December 5th, 2019 10:52PM

Kevin Na shoots 61 and takes lead in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kevin Na made 10 birdies on Saturday, and the one putt that came to his mind after matching his best score was a par.

Na was in a bunker right of the green on the par-3 fifth hole, and he blasted out some 20 feet by the hole leaving a par putt with about 6 feet of break. He made the putt for par and was on his way.

"I thought that was the biggest putt today," Na said.

He finished with three birdies on the last four holes for a 10-under 61, tying his personal best on the PGA Tour. It gave him the 54-hole record in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and a two-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay.

"Somebody asked me that yesterday. They said, 'Do you feel like over the ball you're just going to make everything?' No, it's not that," Na said. "I feel comfortable and I feel confident. And all I'm trying to do is hit good putts."

They're ending up in the right spots. Na has gained about 5.5 strokes to the field in putting in his last two rounds of 62 on Friday and 61 on Saturday. He finished at 22-under 191.

Na lives in Las Vegas and captured his first PGA Tour title at this tournament in 2011. He was pumping his fist after every putt down the stretch at the TPC Summerlin, which yielded six scores of 63 or better and produced an average score of 67.75.

Cantlay was staying with him until he failed to get up-and-down from a bunker on the reachable par-4 15th and made bogey from the bunker on the par-3 17th. He closed with a 15-foot birdie putt for a 63.

Cantlay won the tournament two years ago and was runner-up last year. He wasn't bothered by sharing the lead going into the third round, shooting 63 and finishing two shots behind.

"It's a four-round tournament. It's what I expect out here," Cantlay said. "Everybody can shoot the lights off this place, especially with the weather like it was today. That's the attitude for tomorrow. I know it's going to take a lot of birdies. Fortunately, that's an attitude I'm comfortable with, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Pat Perez had a 62 and was four shots behind. Sam Ryder (64) and Lucas Glover (66) were another shot back.

Conditions were warm and calm, ideal for scoring and it showed. Tony Finau had a 62 to take the lead as the final groups were teeing off. He finished the day seven shots behind. Denny McCarthy and Luke List each posted 63.

"It's hard to look at some of those numbers when you haven't even teed off — you see 8s and 9s (under) out there — and not play impatient," Ryder said after a bogey on the 18th for his 64.

Na and Cantlay came out firing.

Na has been doing his damage on the greens.

He doesn't see any change for Sunday, when he goes for his second victory of the year. Na won at Colonial in May.

"Still got to keep the pedal to the metal. Anyone can shoot 8 or 9 under," Na said. "I believe we're going to get a little more wind tomorrow. Got to go out and post a good number."

Na also shot 61 in the 2010 Wyndham Championship and at Colonial in 2018. He posted this number despite settling for par on the 16th hole, the par 5 over water that played as the easiest on the TPC Summerlin. His tee shot was blocked by a tree and he had to lay up short of the water, but he hit wedge to a tight pin on the front of the green to about 4 feet.

Cantlay had six birdies on the tougher front nine — none longer than the 8-foot range, three of them tap-ins — for the lead. Na played in the group ahead, made birdie on the 10th to tie and then pulled away in the final hour.

Na drove to the back of the 15th green and converted the long two-putt birdie from just off the green with a 6-footer. Cantlay put it in the right bunker and missed his 8-foot birdie putt. That was the separation Na needed, and he stretched it with a pair of closing birdies.

Low scores weren't available to just anyone. Phil Mickelson started the third round just four shots behind and was 5 over through 11 holes. He rallied with a few birdies to salvage a 74.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
North Korea decries breakdown of talks US says were 'good'
North Korea's chief negotiator says nuclear talks with the U.S. have broken down, but Washington maintains the two sides had "good discussions" in Sweden
9:31PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Witness in ex-Dallas officer's murder trial shot and killed
Authorities say a witness in the murder trial of a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor has been killed in a shooting
9:24PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Pompeo: State Dept. will follow law in impeachment inquiry
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department intends to follow the law in the House impeachment investigation
9:18PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Na shoots 61 and takes lead in Las Vegas
Kevin Na matches personal best with a 61 to take 2-shot lead in Las Vegas
8:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
Braves take Helsley's concerns about Chop chant "seriously"
Braves say they appreciate Helsley's concerns about Tomahawk Chop chant
6:41PM ( 3 hours ago )
Mayor: Deal reached to keep Preakness in Baltimore
The owners of the historic racetrack that hosts the Preakness Stakes and Baltimore officials have reached an agreement to keep the Triple Crown series' middle jewel in the city
6:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Koepka has work done on left knee in offseason
Koepka spends short offseason recovering from stem cell treatment on his left knee
4:31PM ( 3 days ago )
Korean Tour suspends player 3 years for obscene gesture
Bio Kim wins the tournament and loses his job when Korean Tour suspends him 3 years for raising middle finger at crowd
3:22PM ( 4 days ago )
Emotional Cameron Champ hangs on to win Safeway Open
Cameron Champ made a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory over Adam Hadwin in the Safeway Open
10:20PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Online Golf
Rahm, Willett share lead after 3 rounds at BMW PGA Champs
Jon Rahm endured a wild end to his third round at the BMW PGA Championship to drop back into a share of the lead with Danny Willett at the flagship European Tour event
2:23PM ( 2 weeks ago )
The Latest: Americans, Australians celebrate in Rose Garden
American and Australian luminaries gathered under the stars in the White House Rose Garden on Friday
10:46PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Byeong Hun An leads storm-delayed Mississippi tour event
With a pair of 66s, Byeong Hun An finishes long day in Mississippi atop the leaderboard
8:44PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Witness in ex-Dallas officer's murder trial shot and killed
Authorities say a witness in the murder trial of a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor has been killed in a shooting
9:24PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Pompeo: State Dept. will follow law in impeachment inquiry
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department intends to follow the law in the House impeachment investigation
9:18PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Perine, defense lift No. 10 Florida past No. 7 Auburn, 24-13
Lamical Perine ran 88 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Florida's defense delivered another gem and the 10th-ranked Gators beat No. 7 Auburn 24-13 in the Swamp
9:02PM ( 39 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ethiopia's Desisa wins marathon
Lelisa Desisa has won the men's marathon, narrowly beating fellow Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew at the finish
9:01PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Gregorius, Yanks stagger Twins again, lead ALDS 2-0
Didi Gregorius hooked a slump-busting grand slam during a seven-run third inning and the New York Yankees pummeled the Minnesota Twins again, cruising to an 8-2 victory for a 2-0 lead in their AL Division Series
8:54PM ( 47 minutes ago )