Kevin Na, winner of The Scott Robertson Memorial junior golf tournament at Roanoke Country Club in 2000 and 2001, put another trophy in his case Sunday afternoon 85 miles away in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Na posted a final round 6-under par 64 to run away from the field to win by 5 shots with a four round total of 19-under 261 at the newly renamed “A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier” on The Old White TPC.
It was Na’s second win on the TOUR, and first since 2011. It dashed the tradition of the recently renamed tournament being a final round shootout, where the previous largest margin of victory was Angel Cabrera’s two-shot win in 2014, and three prior “Classics” went to sudden death, including a four-man playoff in 2015 won by Danny Lee over David Hearn, Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner.
On a course that has only two par-5 holes, half the normal, Na made his mark on the par-4s, finishing the four rounds at minus-15 on that group.
Na set the standard early on Sunday, going 5-under on the outward nine, adding a birdie on #10 before playing the final eight holes even par, with six pars, a birdie and a single bogey. Na had entered the final round one stroke back of co-leaders Kelly Kraft and Harold Varner III.
Kraft, in the last group Sunday with Varner, could only muster an even-par 70 and finished second. Varner limped home with a 2-over 72 and finished tied for 5th at minus-12 with four other players. Brandt Snedeker and Jason Kokrak had four round totals of minus-13 to tie for third place.
Na had a slow start on his way to victory, shooting one-under in the first round, that included four bogeys. He made only two bogeys over the last 54 holes.
Na noted afterward, the significance of getting his first win in seven years and heading positively into the final two majors, the Open Championship in less than two weeks and the PGA Championship in August.
“I’ve been close so many times. Failed so many times. I felt like it was my day,”