U.S. Markets closed

Kevin Na bags Charles Schwab Challenge by four

Mo Yoshimoto
Overnight leader Kevin Na fired a 4-under 66 to win the Charles Schwab Challenge by four and notch his third PGA TOUR title. (Getty Images)

Charles Schwab Challenge

Fort Worth, TX

 

Playing out of the final twosome, overnight leader (by two) and World No. 52 Kevin Na fired a 4-under-par 32-34=66 in Sunday’s final round at Colonial Country Club to reach 13-under 267, good for a four-shot victory over first-round leader and runner-up Tony Finau, who shot 68 out of the third-to-last twosome.

Andrew Putnam (66) and C.T. Pan (69), shared 3rd place, five adrift, while alternate Jonas Blixt (68) came solo 5th, six back.

The 35-year-old, a pre-tourney 70/1 outright, bags his third PGA TOUR title in 392 events, first since the 2018 Greenbrier 22 starts ago, where he came from one back with 6-under 64 and won by five.

This was his 13th Schwab, eighth top 25 and fifth top 10, second straight after solo 4th last year as the first-round leader. Na was also a first-round co-leader in 2007, and a second- and third-round leader in 2015.

He’s now led/co-led five times in his 46 laps on the par-70 layout with a scoring average of 68.37.

The Las Vegas resident shot 62 and 61 last year, both rounds bogey-free, sandwiching 73-70. Both the 62 and 61 were the day's low laps, the 61 being a week low, and matched his career low and the course record. At the time, he became just the fifth player since 1983 to shoot multiple rounds of 62-or-better in an event.

After posting rounds of 70, week-low, bogey-free 62, 69 and 66 this week, the South Korean-born American is the only player to record three rounds of 62 or better in the 72-year history of the event.

Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):

1- (-13, 267) Kevin Na (70/1)

2- (-9, 271) Tony Finau (25/1)

3- (-8, 272) Andrew Putnam (175/1)

3- (-8, 272) C.T. Pan (100/1)

5- (-7, 273) Jonas Blixt (175/1)

Note: Repeat top-10 finishers from last year: 1 player: Kevin Na (1-4)

Na’s Season:

Starts: 15

Cuts Made: 12

Top 25s: 4

Top 10s: 3

Top 3s: 1

Wins: 1

 

Na began with a two-shot lead over five players, including Finau.

On 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, he camouflaged two bogey-5s at 7 and 10, with six circles at 2, 4, 6, 8, 14 and 18, three from between 11 and 33 feet.

OUT: 3-under 32 (4 birdies, 1 bogey); Na leads by 3 (over Finau)

IN: 1-under 34 (2 birdies, 1 bogey); Na WINS by 4 (over Finau)

Na, who checked in off a missed cut by one at last week’s PGA Championship (72-73), posted 1.571 putts per GIR and 1.245 SG: Putting with 28 total putts, wrapping the week with one eagle and 17 birdies against four bogeys and one double.

He improves to 12-for-15 on the season with four top 25s and three top 10s, all three in his last six starts.

Season Form (last six): 1-MC-35-10-46-5

Note: Na is the 11th player this season (31 events) to MC the start prior and then win in their next start, third in the last four and fifth in the last seven.

Texas Swing (Na digs the Lone Star State):

Due to the revamped TOUR schedule, this was the fourth (and final) event in Texas this season. Typically, there’s been five, but Houston lost their event this season.

Na played in three of the four this season: Won, Charles Schwab; T35, Byron Nelson; T5, WGC-Match Play.

He also recorded two top 10s in four events played last season, including back to backs in Dallas (T6) and Fort Worth (4th).

 

Multiple Top 10s in Texas (last 3 seasons):

2019:

2- Na, Kuchar, Sabbatini, Hatton

2018:

2- Na, Kuchar, Oosthuizen, Grillo, Tway, Niemann, Mitchell, Walker, Howell III, Poulter

2017:

3- Rahm

2- Kang, Koepka, Lee D, O’Hair, Casey, Cauley

How Na Won the Tournament:

Ranked 1st (or T1) in: SG: Approach; Total Eagles; Total Bogeys; Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Par-3 Scoring; Par-4 Scoring; Greens in Regulation; Proximity to Hole; All-Around

Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: SG: Tee-to-Green; SG: Putting; Total Birdies; Birdie or Better Percentage

Note: See “Strokes Gained Leaders Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.

Least Important Stat(s): SG: Around-the-Green (ranked 58th); Driving Distance all drives (55th); Par-5 Scoring (T46)

Na’s TOUR Career:

Starts: 392

Cuts Made: 269 (68.6%)

WDs: 15 (3.8%)

Top 25s: 132 (33.6%)

Top 10s: 68 (17.3%)

Top 3s: 20 (5.1%)

Wins: 3 (0.76%)

 

Wins (by season):

2019: 1 (Charles Schwab); 16th season

2018: 1 (The Greenbrier)

2017: 0

2016: 0

2015: 0

2014: 0

2013: 0

2012: 0

2011: 1 (Shriners); 8th season

Note: It took Na 211 starts before he won his first TOUR title at the 2011 Shriners in his eighth season. Seven seasons and 159 starts later, he won his second at the 2018 Greenbrier. Now, just 22 starts later, he’s won his third.

Na’s Q&A:

Q: Kenny (caddie) said that since you won last year there has been a calmness about your game. Would you feel like in the last year you’ve played with a calmness?

A: I agree. I think after the win at Greenbrier last year, it was a very emotional win. I feel like this week was the next chance to win, next time I legitimately could contend and I won.

I felt so much more comfortable. Had so much more confidence. I think me winning Greenbrier has obviously taken a lot of pressure off. There is always pressure, but it’s taken a lot of a load off, weight off my shoulders. I think it helped me today.

Na’s Position by Round:

R1: T38 (6 back)

R2: T2 (1 back)

R3: 1 (leader by 2)

Leader/co-leaders by Round:

R1: Tony Finau (finished 2nd): Drops to 0-for-5 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Jonas Blixt (5th): Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R3: Kevin Na (Won): Improves to 2-for-6 as 54-hole leader/co-leader

Na at Charles Schwab:

Starts: 13

Cuts Made: 11

Top 25s: 8

Top 10s: 5

Top 3s: 1

Wins: 1

Schwab Form: 1-4-42-10-MC-13-40-22-9-59-7-17-WD

 

5

Na entered the week ranked 27th in career earnings at the Schwab. He now ranks 5th after banking $1,314,000 ($2,440,809 total).

Strength of Field:

With a Strength of Field rating of 377 (down 35 from last year), Na banks 54.00 world-ranking points: 

OWGR: From 52 to 31 (up 21)

Note: Career-high OWGR is 19th after 2016 WGC-HSBC

FedExCup: From 98 to 27 (up 71)

Note: Career-high FEC rank is 2nd after 2016 WGC-HSBC

Field Scoring Average:

This was the 72ndCharles Schwab, all 72 at Colonial CC:

Par 70 (35-35)

7,209 yards

 

R1: 71.26

R2: 70.65

R3: 70.77

R4: 70.63

Total: 70.86

Na: 70-62-69-66

SG: Total: 16.306

Low Rounds:

R1: 64: Tony Finau

R2: 62: Kevin Na

R3: 63: Charley Hoffman

R4: 65: Russell Knox

Bogey-free Rounds:

R1: (1): Ryan Palmer (68)

R2: (3): Kevin Na (62); Jonas Blixt (64); Xander Schauffele (67_MC)

R3: (3): Charley Hoffman (63); Mackenzie Hughes (65); Jim Furyk (68)

R4: (1): Russell Knox (65)

Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: NONE

Draw:

A total of 73 players from a field of 122 made the 36-hole cut of 2-over 142:

 

37 (of 60) EARLY/late; 2 WD’s

36 (of 58) LATE/early; 2 WD’S

 

Top 10s:

12

EARLY/late (5):

Tony Finau (2nd); Andrew Putnam (T3); Ryan Palmer (T6); Jordan Spieth (T8); Mackenzie Hughes (T8)

LATE/early (7):

Kevin Na (Won); C.T. Pan (T3); Jonas Blixt (5th); Rory Sabbatini (T6); Nick Watney (T8); Russell Knox (T8); Tyrrell Hatton (T8)

Note: Na is the second straight LATE/early winner of the Schwab and third in the last four.

 

19

19 (of 31) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:

Winners:

EARLY/late: 7

LATE/early: 12 (Na)

32

Season Winners, including team-Zurich:

13 winners were in their 20s

13 were in their 30s (Na age: 35)

6 were in their 40s

Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:

9: Rory McIlroy

8: Jon Rahm

7: Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar

6: Scott Piercy

5: Ryan Palmer, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Sungjae Im, Justin Thomas

 

Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:

2: Rory Sabbatini (6-5)

2: Jordan Spieth (8-3)

2: Brooks Koepka (1-4)

2: Sung Kang (7-1)

2: Matt Kuchar (8-2)

2: Rory McIlroy (8-8)

 

Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended:

NONE

Na’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 73 players):

Eagles: 1 (T1)

Birdies: 17 (T2)

Bogeys: 4 (1st)

Birdie or Better: 25.00% (2nd)

Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 3.60 (1st)

Par-3 Scoring: 2.75 (T1)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.83 (1st)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.88 (T46)

Driving Distance (all drives): 277.0 yards (55th)

Driving Accuracy: 34/56 (T17) at 60.71%

GIR: 56/72 (1st) at 77.78%

Proximity: 28’7” (1st)

Putts per GIR: 1.679 (5th)

Total Putts: 114 (T27)

Putts by Round: 31-27-28-28

Scrambling: 11/16 (T15) at 68.75%

All-Around: 1st

Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:

SG: Off-the-Tee:

1. Billy Horschel (4.926)

2. Jhonattan Vegas (4.822)

3. Tony Finau (4.470)

4. Ryan Palmer (3.989)

5. Joaquin Niemann (3.900)

18. Kevin Na (2.322)

 

SG: Approach-the-Green:

1. Kevin Na (8.308)

2. Tyrone Van Aswegen (7.020)

3. Nick Watney (6.321)

4. C.T. Pan (6.276)

5. Matt Every (5.844)

 

SG: Around-the-Green:

1. Tim Herron (6.946)

2. Joaquin Niemann (4.193)

3. Danny Lee (3.951)

4. Nick Watney (3.841)

5. Austin Cook (3.691)

58. Kevin Na (-1.358)

 

SG: Putting:

1. Jordan Spieth (7.473)

2. Kevin Na (7.033)

3. Aaron Baddeley (5.537)

4. Beau Hossler (5.492)

5. Scott Piercy (5.286)

 

SG: Tee-to-Green:

1. Nick Watney (12.272)

2. Kevin Na (9.272)

3. Rory Sabbatini (9.128)

4. Jonas Blixt (9.060)

5. Ryan Palmer (8.812)