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Na Sang-wook Loses Championship by Narrow Margin

Posted February. 28, 2005 22:48,   


There is a saying: “You never know how a golf game will end until players take off their gloves.”

Na Sang-wook, also known as Kevin Na (21, Kolon Elord), must have keenly felt the meaning of that phrase, while feeling heaven and hell at the same time.

In the second round of Chrysler Classic of Tucson (total prize: three million dollars) held at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort (par 72) in Arizona on February 28, Na made high drama not once, but twice.

His first dramatic moment was when he forced playoff making an eight-meter birdie putt at the 18th hole (par four) when he was a runner-up with and a par away from first place.

The second was when Na managed to survive with a six-meter par putt in playoff at Hole 18 with Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) and Mark Calcavecchia (the U.S.).

But that was the end of his luck. In the second playoff that Na had with Ogilvy at Hole 10 (par five) after Calcavecchia dropped out, Na had the advantage compared with Ogilvy by landing the ball on the fringe with his second shot. But he chipped the ball too far.

After seeing the Aussie succeed in a 5.4-meter birdie putt, Na missed a 2.4-meter birdie putt, just barely losing what would have been his first victory on the PGA tour.

However, Na proved that he is competent enough to target a championship anytime by ranking in second place again after being the runner-up at the FBR Open early this month. Also, he moved up on the money list from 19th to 15th place (734,255 dollars).

Feeling a sense of regret, he lingered at Hole 10 for a while after the game was over. He said, “I chipped too fast. My mistake gave hope to my competitor.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com