Kevin Na shook his head as he left the ninth green at the Texas Open yesterday, having taken 16 shots to set a record for the highest score on a par-4 hole at a U.S. PGA Tour event.
The South Korean took two fewer shots than the tour record for a single hole, set by John Daly on the par-5 sixth at the 1998 Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Ray Ainsley needed 19 shots to complete the par-4 16th in the second round of the 1938 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, Colorado.
Na, 27, who has never won on the world’s richest golf circuit, arrived at the ninth hole at the TPC San Antonio at 1-under par. He finished his round in a tie for 140th place at 8 over, having played the second half in 3-under par. Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champion, and J.J. Henry are tied for the lead at 5 under, a shot ahead of five players, including Masters Tournament runner-up Adam Scott.
Na’s trouble began when he pushed his tee shot at the ninth into woods on the right of the hole. He tried again from the tee, only to achieve the same result. This time, he elected to try to find the ball and play it.
His next shot, his fourth, struck a tree then hit him, incurring a two-stroke penalty. He swung at the ball a further six times without managing to get it out of the woods before finding the green with his 14th shot and taking two putts.
Na thought he’d taken 15 shots before officials reviewed the hole on video in the scorer’s hut and confirmed he’d taken 16.
“It’s all a blur,” said Na, who finished third at the Northern Trust Open in February and in a tie for fifth place at the Bob Hope Classic a month earlier.