Las Vegan Kevin Na leads Shriners Open by 2 strokes
Kevin Na seized the third-round lead by firing a 10-under-par 61 Saturday at TPC Summerlin to finish at 22-under 191. His three-day total is a tournament record.
Updated October 5, 2019 - 7:11 pm
Las Vegas resident Kevin Na says he likes the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open because his family and friends can watch him play.
And “best of all,” he says, he gets to sleep in his own bed.
As the 54-hole leader.
Na seized the third-round lead by firing a 10-under-par 61 Saturday at TPC Summerlin to finish at 22-under 191, two strokes ahead of Patrick Cantlay. Na’s three-day total is a tournament record.
Pat Perez carded a 9-under 62 is third at 18 under. Fan favorite and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson posted a 3-over 74 and is tied for 69th at 5 under.
But the tournament’s is Na’s to lose.
“I’ve still got to keep the pedal to the metal. A lot of low scores out there,” said Na, the world’s 40th-ranked player who won the Shriners Open in 2011. “Anybody can shoot 8 or 9 under. … I’ve just got to go out there, one shot at a time, and post a good number.”
Na lives in Southern Highlands and practices out of the Southern Highlands Golf Club but has an affinity for TPC Summerlin, where he won his first professional tournament. He opened Thursday with a 68 and followed with a 62 Friday, when he played the final six holes at 6 under.
The 36-year-old was even better Saturday, hitting fairway after fairway.
Green after green.
Making putt after putt — for a total of 177 feet.
“I just kept riding that momentum with the hot putter, and it was a great day,” said Na, who has played his final 24 holes at 16 under. “I feel comfortable and confident, and all I’m trying to do is hit good putts.”
Na will play in the final pairing Sunday and tee off at 1 p.m. with Cantlay, who won the tournament in 2017. Cantlay played in the final pairing Saturday and matched Na’s pace on the front nine but faded on the back nine.
If only a little bit.
He birdied the par-5 13th and sandwiched birdies around a bogey on the par-3 17th after dumping his tee shot in the bunker. He said he was pleased with his round, and he has experience playing from behind.
“Everybody can shoot the lights off this place, especially when the weather is what it was like today,” said Cantlay, ranked seventh in the world. “That’s the attitude for (Sunday). I know it’s going to take a lot of birdies. Fortunately, that’s an attitude I’m comfortable with.”
Perez is one stroke ahead of Sam Ryder and former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover.
“These guys work hard out here, and it’s tough to beat them every week,” said Perez, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. “If you can get it in the right spot and make a bunch of putts … that’s why you see the scores the way they are.”
Former UNLV stars Adam Scott and Ryan Moore are tied at 15 under, and defending champion Bryson DeChambeau is at 12 under.
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.
What: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
When: Sunday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Where: TPC Summerlin (par 71, 7,255 yards)
First tee time: 6:40 a.m.
Purse: $7 million (winner’s share: $1,260.000)
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau
Sunday forecast: Sunny, high 87, low 60 with wins northeast at 10 mph
At a glance
Moving on moving day
Tony Finau was hoping for something low Saturday.
The lowest round of his career will have to do.
Finau fired a 9-under-par 62 and finished the third round at 15-under 198, tied for sixth place. The 30-year-old Utah native made a mere 47 feet of putts, indicating near perfect placement on drives and approaches.
“I hit it so nice the first couple days and got nothing out of my round. Just didn’t make a lot of putts,” said Finau, who is vying for a berth on the Presidents Cup team via one of the four captain’s picks. “I did a little bit of work with my coach this morning and changed something up, and I was able to make some more putts.”
Finau opened the round with a birdie and finished the front nine with four straight birdies. He had two on the back nine and eagled the par-5 16th.
“Every week I tee it up and try to put myself in contention to win,” said Finau, ranked No. 13. “This week I’ve got that opportunity.”
Former UNLV standout Adam Scott, playing in his first PGA Tour event in Las Vegas since leaving the Rebels in 2000, is in contention for Sunday.
Scott shot 6-under 65 on Saturday and is tied for eighth at 15 under. He spent several minutes signing autographs after completing his round and is hoping to play his way into contention in the final round.
“I’m going to have to shoot ridiculously low,” Scott said. “It’s possible in these conditions. … Just get off to a hot start.”
Sam Gordon Las Vegas Review-Journal