Kevin Na claimed his latest PGA title at the Sony Open in Hawaii after finishing with a one-shot lead. Na ended the tournament with 21 under par with a final-round score of five-under 65.
Joaquin Niemann, who finished second in last week’s Tournament of Champions also finished one shot behind Na on Sunday to settle at second place tied with Chris Kirk. Na’s participation at the event may have been a stroke of luck, having missed the last two years in a row.
Na began the day tied as the overnight leader with Brendan Steele, but a 15-foot birdie at the second hole saw him shoot past everyone else. He made par at the ninth hole but suffered bogeys at the 11th and 12th hole which saw him fall three behind. But he made up for his losses with another 15-foot birdie at the 13th hole, proceeding to replicate the same success in the next two holes. He crowned it all with a birdie at the last hole to secure his first win in almost two years.
For Na, playing at the event is nothing short of miraculous. He had pulled out of the past two Sony Opens due to neck and finger injuries, after arriving at the venue. This year would have followed a similar pattern if not for the intervention of Cornel Driessen, the new trainer Na recently added to his team. Na had pulled his rib while training on Wednesday morning and it looked like it was going to pull out of the event like before till Driessen intervened, and Na believes that “had he not been here, I don’t know, it might have been a different story.”
The win boosted Na’s ranking to number 23 in the OWGR and 10th in the FedExCup standings. He has now joined few players like world number one, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas to have won at least once in the last four tour seasons.