NAPA, Calif. – Kevin Na said he hit his driver off the deck “perfect every time” this week.
He didn’t pull off the shot when he needed it most Sunday at Silverado.
In position to put pressure on Emiliano Grillo on the second playoff hole, Na dropkicked his 274-yard shot, had to wedge a miracle shot through the trees and wound up with bogey. Grillo made birdie and won the season-opening Frys.com Open.
“Maybe I should have hit 3-wood,” Na said afterward, “but if I were to go do it all over again, I probably would still hit driver.”
Grillo played with Na in the third round and said that Na hit the driver-off-the-deck shot “perfectly.” Even in the fading daylight, Grillo thought the play made sense: The lie was reasonable in the fairway, and Na wanted to get his ball as close to the green as possible on the par 5.
“But it’s a tough play in a playoff,” Grillo conceded.
Na remains stuck on one PGA Tour victory, though he now has three playoff losses. On Sunday, he birdied four of the last six holes just to reach overtime.
“You would think I would get my share,” he said, “but I certainly haven’t gotten my share of wins for how good I’ve played for the past seven or eight years. But you know what? It’s coming. It’s coming.”