Once again, Na comes agonizingly close to victory

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For the second week in a row, Kevin Na came up just short.

After losing in extra holes to Emiliano Grillo last week in Napa, Na found himself potentially headed for another playoff and maybe even his second Shriners Hospitals for Children title down the stretch Sunday at TPC Summerlin.

Na tied eventual winner Smylie Kaufman, who had finished hours earlier with a final-round 61, when he made an unlikely up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 16th, draining a 20-footer to get to 16 under.

Even after coming up short of the green at the par-3 17th, Na found himself on the upslope of the fairway, playing to a front pin, thinking about birdie and the win.

“I felt like it was a good position to chip it in,” he said. “It seems like I’m always in the top 10 in scrambling out here. I feel very confident with chip shots.”

But as has become frustratingly typical for Na, things didn’t work out as planned. He made iffy contact and left his chip 15 feet short. His sliding par attempt wouldn’t go and he was suddenly one back with one to play.


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“When I put the club down,” Na calmly explained, “the lie was almost sitting up too good. It was on a little piece of grass that was stuck up, because it was into the grain, and I didn’t think much of it. I probably should have put it a little more back in my stance and gotten steep on it, but because everything is running away, you have to have a nice little soft chip. Unfortunately, I caught a little piece of that, a little under it, and it came up short.”

Na left himself one final chance to tie on the 72nd hole, but his 18-foot birdie try went by the hole.

And like that, Na finished runner-up for the second straight week and for the eighth time in his PGA Tour career. His only win in 301 career PGA Tour starts remains the 2011 Shriners.