ATLANTA – Drenched in sweat and trying desperately to find something to drink, Kevin Na held up a hand when a group of reporters descended on him following his final round at the Tour Championship.
“Hold on, let me catch my breath,” he said.
Na, often cited as one of the PGA Tour’s slowest players, had just rounded East Lake in just under two hours (1 hour, 59 minutes and 52 seconds, to be exact).
There are no official records regarding these types of things, but the unofficial record for fastest round at East Lake is thought to be two hours and 10 minutes. Na’s pace was well ahead of that mark and, more importantly, included birdies on each of his final four holes.
Na, who played by himself in the day’s first tee time for the second consecutive day, said he didn’t set out to break any records on Sunday, and he just wanted to play as quickly as he could and post a round of par or better.
“We made the turn at 1:03,” said Na, who closed with an even-par 70. “To play the second nine in 56 minutes, I was tired, I just didn’t think we could.”
But Na’s caddie, Kenny Harms, started to pick up the pace on the closing nine, along with the group’s walking scorer and a few fans, and Na said he had no choice.
Although Na said Sunday’s round had nothing to do with his reputation for being a slow player, Harms smiled as the duo completed the round, “We didn’t get stuck with anyone slow," he said. "That’s what’s been holding us up for the last 10 years.”