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Las Vegan Kevin Na leads Shriners Open by 2 strokes

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.

Or win.


“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 sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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