Get a whiff: Check-swing king weighs in on Na


SAN MARTIN, Calif. – If anyone is qualified to comment on Kevin Na’s Whiffgate last week in Las Vegas, it’s Tiger Woods. He may have made more check swings than any other pro golfer.

With some time to kill while waiting on the tee of CordeValle's par-3 seventh hole, Woods discussed the subject.

He found it hard to believe that Na, the Vegas winner, was in the clear under the Rules of Golf for intentionally missing the ball with his downswing on the 15th hole in the third round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

'I thought it was OK if you could check-swing and not pass the ball with the club, but not completely miss it on purpose,' Woods said after asking Golf Channel's Billy Ray Brown about the circumstances of Na’s whiff.

'I think it should be the player's responsibility to hold up their swing,' Woods added.

On Tuesday at CordeValle, Na acknowledged Woods' capacity to do just that.

'If Tiger is strong enough to stop his swing, good for him,” Na said. “I'm not, so I'm going to go over it. But I definitely think he looks cooler stopping halfway down.”

After his win last Sunday, Na said he approached tour officials several years ago about his quirk.

“I’ve had a talk with a bunch of rules officials, I mean even a couple years ago,” he said. “I remember at [the Sony Open in Hawaii], It started with the left-arm injury and it kind of became a habit. I told them, ‘Hey, guys, I do this all the time. So I’m just letting you know ahead of time that I do this all the time.’ And we had a big talk, and [the official] said, ‘It’s not a big deal. As long as you don’t make contact, it doesn’t matter.’”

A whiff is not counted as a stroke if the player does not intend to strike the ball.