Na out to avenge playoff loss with win in Vegas

RSS

After coming close to a breakthrough victory last week, Kevin Na still sees room for improvement.

Na lost to Emiliano Grillo in a playoff at the Frys.com Open, his second overtime loss in the last 16 months. Despite the setback, he returned this week to a familiar venue and now is contending for another victory. His 11-under-202 total puts him in a tie for third and two shots behind Brett Stegmaier heading into the final round.

If there's any venue that elicits positive vibes for Na, it's TPC Summerlin, where he recorded his first - and to date only - PGA Tour victory in 2011. The veteran credited his tee-to-green game for putting him in the mix for the second week in a row.

"My ball-striking has come a long ways," Na said. "Yesterday, I felt like I didn't miss a shot. I felt like I putted terrible and I shot 5 under."

Saturday's round was only a 3-under 68, but it was his fifth sub-70 round in the fledgling season, one that put him in position to become the first player to win immediately after a playoff loss since Jordan Spieth, who followed a runner-up at the Shell Houston Open with a win at the Masters in April.

"Seems like this year, while I've only played seven rounds, today was my worst ball-striking round," he said. "Last week I hit it beautifully, and my misses are not as bad as they used to be. I think that's been the key to my play."