Friday, April 15, 2011

Kevin Na's 16 at Texas Open (with video)

   So how did Kevin Na made a 16 on the par-4 ninth hole Thursday in the first round of the Valero Texas Open?

   He made a five-footer.

   Sorry, couldn't resist.

   Na's not so excellent adventure on the outskirts of San Antonio was just one more reminder of how mean golf can be. It can turn on you like Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist' if you don't mind a reference that shows my age.

   Na was cruising along -- slowly as usual because he's got a rep for chewing up more clock than the Pittsburgh Steelers with a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter -- when calamity introduced itself.

   It started with a bad tee shot...but that's how most stories about a 16 on hole begin.

   After declaring his initial tee shot unplayable, Na returned to the tee and hit another in roughly the same area. He played it, hit a shot that hit, took that penalty, whiffed with one left-handed swing, barely nudged the ball forward with another left-handed swipe and by the time he got his ball to the fringe of the green, he had 14 scratches to his credit.

   It was so involved that Na wasn't sure what he had made. He told his caddie when they were finished that it was somewhere between a 10 and a 14. Then he figured out it was a 15. Then, with the help of surveillance cameras, it was determined the actual score was a 16.

   That's not a PGA Tour record, not even close. The great (but not on that day) Tommy Armour posted a 27 on one hole in the 1927 Shawnee Open which no longer exists except when someone looks up the highest score ever posted on a hole.

  Na played 17 holes 4-under par Thursday and one hole 12-over par. His biggest regret, Na told reporters, was that he didn't declare his second tee shot unplayable and hit a third from the tee.

   He could have made an eight that way.

   Yeah, but who would remember?