White Sulphur Springs – South Korean-born American Kevin Na captured his first PGA Tour title in seven years on Sunday, firing a six-under par 64 to win the Greenbrier Classic by five strokes.
The 34-year-old, who emigrated to the United States from Seoul with his family at age eight, finished 72 holes at the mountain resort course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on 19-under 261.
“Big confidence boost,” Na said. “It’s nice to get that second trophy. It’s a beautiful trophy. I thought about how good it would look at home.”
Na, who choked up when thanking fans in Korean on television after his triumph, had made 158 starts since his only prior PGA victory at the 2011 Shriners Hospitals Open.
“It feels amazing,” Na said. “I see the records on TV, most starts since winning. I’m always up there. I failed so many times.
“It took me eight years to win my first title. I told friends it’s not going to take eight years to win the second one. It has taken seven.”
Kelly Kraft was second on 266 with Jason Kokrak and Brandt Snedeker sharing third on 267 and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, the only non-US player in the top 10, in a fifth-place pack on 268 with Austin Cook, Sam Saunders, Joel Dahmen and Harold Varner.
Na broke open a shootout with 12 players within four strokes of the lead by making birdies on six of seven holes starting at the fourth, making two runs of three in a row to seize command.
He sank a five-foot birdie putt at the fourth and one twice as long at the fifth before dropping a 32-footer at the sixth.
Na found a fairway bunker at seven and settled for par but resumed his birdie binge with a 43-foot putt at the par-3 eighth, a tap-in birdie after putting his approach at nine inches from the cup and sinking a 23-foot birdie putt to start the back nine.
“Today I kept within myself,” Na said. “I never got ahead of myself. “I kept it right in front of me.”
Na’s lone bogey came at 11, where he missed a 10-foot par putt, but he pulled back a stroke at 16 with a nine-foot birdie putt, then sank a 16-foot par putt at the par-5 17th and parred 18 to close out the victory.
Saunders, grandson of golf legend Arnold Palmer, used an old putter that belonged to his grandfather, who died in 2016 at age 87.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, seeking his fourth title of the year, fired a 72 to share 13th on 271.
Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the US PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (USA unless noted, par-70):
261 – Kevin Na 69-63-65-64
266 – Kelly Kraft 64-63-69-70
267 – Brandt Snedeker 66-67-70-64, Jason Kokrak 65-64-71-67
268 – Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 63-69-72-64, Austin Cook 66-66-70-66, Joel Dahmen 67-65-67-69, Sam Saunders 68-63-67-70, Harold Varner 66-64-66-72
269 – Russell Henley 68-69-69-63
270 – Robert Streb 66-69-71-64, David Lingmerth (SWE) 66-68-68-68
271 – Alex Cejka (GER) 68-68-69-66, John Peterson 68-69-68-66, Scott Stallings 70-63-70-68, Mackenzie Hughes 69-67-67-68, JJ Spaun 68-65-68-70, Keegan Bradley 65-69-67-70, Ryan Moore 66-67-67-71, Bubba Watson 68-66-65-72
272 – JJ Henry 65-70-69-68, Talor Gooch 69-67-68-68, Tony Finau 67-67-67-71, Ryan Armour 67-66-67-72, Xander Schauffele 66-66-65-75
273 – Lanto Griffin 69-66-70-68, Wesley Bryan 69-65-69-70, Ollie Schniederjans 66-66-69-72, Jamie Lovemark 67-66-67-73