When you think of recent PGA Tour winners, who comes to mind? Since January 2018, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has eight wins. That’s the most. Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are next, with six wins each. Then come friendly rivals Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy, with five each. Who comes next?
Kevin Na, of course.
While you were watching Tom Brady take on Drew Brees, Na was chasing down Brendan Steele and the rest of the Sony Open field, playing the final six holes in four under par to win his fourth title since 2018.
“I felt like Waialae is a golf course I really have a chance at, and there’s not too many of these left anymore, so I have to take advantage of it,” he said with a smile in his post-round press conference. There are clearly enough eligible courses left for Na to have jump-started a particularly fruitful second phase of his career.
It’s easy to be happy for Na when he wins these events because he seems so genuinely appreciative to be in this position. He’s 37 years old now, 18 years into his professional career, but he’s avoided the jaded cynicism that can infect other Tour vets — he remains obviously thankful for every opportunity. He gave some simple insight into why he thinks he’s been getting the job done that much more often, too:
“I’ve been winning more often because I know I can do it. Before, it was like, ‘Can I do it? I don’t know.’ Now I know if I put myself in that position, I’ve got a good chance of pulling it off.”
One thing Na still hasn’t ever done is cracked a U.S. Ryder or Presidents Cup team. That’s nothing to be ashamed of — you’ve seen those star-studded rosters — but it’s cool that even now, Na is openly gunning for a spot on the team that’ll take on Whistling Straits come September.
He’s off to a good start.