Kevin Na: Round Two Flash Interview

Friday, June 13, 2014

Q. In your estimation, how good was your round today?
KEVIN NA: 69's pretty good. I was hoping for 68 or 67, because I felt like -- I was watching the telecast and the greens were holding. There was some birdie holes out there, and I was trying to shoot two or three under so I could get in the final group. I don't know if this is going to be good enough to sneak in the final group or not, but overall I'm pleased.

Q. You obviously contended at the PLAYERS, in the path of your career, but everyone has to contend in a Major Championship their first time at some point. I know that you turned pro, you had your card, you were the youngest guy with a card for a long time, do you feel like now is the time for you to really start contending in Major Championships?
KEVIN NA: Yes, this is my 11th season on the PGA TOUR and I'm only 30. So they say golfers start peaking in their 30s, so I feel like now's my time for me to start peaking a little bit. I've had some success, but not as much success as I would like and hopefully starting at 30 is my prime.

Q. Aside from it just being your age being in the prime, what do you point to in the last two years for your maturity, for your involvement as a better player, what has been the biggest key?
KEVIN NA: I think I've matured everywhere on and off the golf course. That's shown in my game. I'm a lot happier person on and off the golf course, regardless of whether I play well or bad. I think that's shown out on the golf course and to the people.

Q. Why are you happier?
KEVIN NA: I started to realize that this isn't everything. I started to try to enjoy it more and I think that that has helped me play better. I've had success, don't get me wrong. Starting in 2009, I've played really well for four years. I got hurt last year, but, I don't know, just I'm a happy person.

Q. Does what Kaymer has done to this point change your strategy going into tomorrow?
KEVIN NA: No, I can't change my strategy. I just got to take what I get and play my game and hopefully I can close the gap and a play some pressure. If Martin goes out and shoots under par for 36 holes, again, just under par, and stays in double figures, hat's off to him. Deserves it.

Q. How good is what he's done to this point?
KEVIN NA: I heard he played No. 3 course. (Laughter.) Is that true? (Laughter.) It's unbelievable what he's done. Is 4- or 5-under out there? Yes. 10-under out there? No, I don't think so. I guess it was out there for him. It's amazing, I watched some of the shots he hit and some of the putts he's made and he looks flawless.

Q. Did you talk about that par putt on 17, it looked like you knew it was wrong right from the start?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I got to blame my first putt. Obviously I thought that putt was a lot quicker. The greens were getting a little quicker at the end of the day, and I gave it a little too much respect. I gave myself a 4-footer and it was an inch outside the hole on the left and just trying so hard not to miss it low and try to keep it, start it on line and I actually pulled it, which I rarely do. So it was a shocker to me. But I was running out of a little bit of juice, a little bit of energy coming down the stretch. I was a little tired. I think the loss of focus coming down the stretch was maybe the reason why I 3-putted.

Q. Talking more about it on Tuesday and I was asking him what was sort of the return to good form and he said he's just enjoying playing more.
KEVIN NA: Yeah, you know, being happy on and off the golf course, especially off the golf course, affects your game as an athlete and you see that in the greatest players in the world. Just in any sports. I mean, the better -- the more happy you are, in life, the better you play.

Q. Do you think there's a trap sometimes, you get in a sport because you love it, presumably, but then all of a sudden it becomes a business and all of this and everything else, the window dressing and you lose --
KEVIN NA: The big picture and you lose why you started playing this game.

Q. Is that maybe why at 31 or 32 you come to re-appreciate it?
KEVIN NA: I think so. It takes time to mature. Some longer than others. Some never. Yeah. So I'm ahead of that.

Q. When you turned pro, you talked about changing your strategy, what is the danger of being more aggressive?
KEVIN NA: Because you don't play your game. You play your game and you post a number and you wait. That's all you can do. If you change your game and it doesn't work out, then you got to be kicking yourself. If you stick to the game plan and give it your best shot, you can say, hey, I gave it my best, he beat me. I didn't lose the tournament, he beat me.

Q. You had scrutiny down the stretch, you were the guy with the lead at the PLAYERS championship, that was before you said in the last year you've kind of found more joy away from the course. What can you take --
KEVIN NA: Well, it's no fun when you can't take the club back. No, seriously. I've seen, um, the funny story is -- I'll make it short, but at the British Open, once I got over there, I got paired in a practice round with Robert Karlsson and I saw exactly the same thing. And I was shocked. I obviously couldn't say anything to him, but I felt his pain. Not too many people go through that. Only people that's gone through that know that pain.

Q. Have you talked to Robert since then about it?
KEVIN NA: No, I'm not going to bring it up. Unless he comes to me and says Kevin, what did you do, I'm not going to say hey, what's going on, no.

Q. What did you do? What worked best for you to get out of that?
KEVIN NA: I don't know. It was one of those things, I tried not to think. I tried to react to the shot that was given to me than think, which is hard to do.

Q. Do you think that was kind of the low point or the turning point in your career?
KEVIN NA: Well, I hate talking about this. But once I had that problem and I changed everything, my caddie told my manager, my old manager, a buddy of mine, he said, we're in trouble. He says, we're in trouble. And I didn't play good for awhile. Obviously I got hurt and it doesn't help, but let's move past that.

Q. Talk about tomorrow. Your approach tomorrow.
KEVIN NA: I don't know how they're going to set up the golf course tomorrow. Obviously Saturday is moving day. Even the Majors they tend to set it up where you can shoot a low number. So I know the course is going to dry out a little bit, but anything in the red figures. I'm hoping 2-under. I'll take -- you give me 68 right now, I'll sit in the clubhouse.

Q. What would be perfect conditions for you? Knowing the field is six or seven shots back of Martin, what do you think you and your fellow guys chasing him are going to want? Hardest conditions possible?
KEVIN NA: No. I would like to see a condition where 3- and 4-under is out there. So that way a guy that's playing well shoots 3- or 4-under, a guy that's playing poorly shoots 2- or 3-over and you get a big change in the leaderboard.

Q. The last two days like that?
KEVIN NA: Yeah, I would like that. Hopefully I'm the guy who shoots 3- or 4- under.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

PosPlayerTo ParThruToday
1KAYMER, Martin-9F-1
T2COMPTON, Erik-1F+2
T2FOWLER, Rickie-1F+2
T4BRADLEY, Keegan+1F-3
T4DAY, Jason+1F-2
T4KOEPKA, Brooks+1F+1
T4JOHNSON, Dustin+1F+3
T4STENSON, Henrik+1F+3
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