Kevin Na tops Patrick Cantlay, wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in playoff

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Though he almost let it slip through his fingers, Kevin Na picked up a win at his hometown tournament on Sunday afternoon.

Na β€” a Seoul native who now calls Las Vegas home β€” fired a 1-under 70 on Sunday, rallying back after a rough back nine to force a playoff with Patrick Cantlay. While it took a few holes, Na fended off Cantlay to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, his second win at the event.

Neither Cantlay nor Na blinked in the first playoff hole, both easily making birdie to extend the tournament. Though both had a birdie putt on their second attempt at the playoff hole, Cantlay left his putt well short and Na sent his flying past the hole. Cantlay, though, then missed his 5-foot par putt to make a three-putt bogey β€” opening the door for Na.

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Na then drilled the par putt, ending the playoff and sending him to an emotional embrace with his wife and daughter.

β€œI’ve failed many times. I’ve lost three playoffs,” Na said on the broadcast before giving an emotional message in Korean. β€œThis is my first playoff win. I knew, I kept telling myself, β€˜This is the playoff I’m going to win.’ And it felt great to win.”

Na seemed completely unstoppable through three rounds at the tournament. He fired an impressive 10-under 61 on Saturday to jump ahead of the field, perfectly backing up his second-round 62.

Though Na started Sunday two strokes ahead of the pack, Cantlay nearly stole the win out from under him on the back nine.

While he offset a bogey on No. 8 with a birdie on No. 9 to close out his front nine, Na fell apart on the par-4 10th. He carded a triple-bogey after his chip just barely rolled off the back of the green, taking his four-shot lead back to just one.

Cantlay, who also made bogey on No. 10, took advantage of his lapse. He made four birdies in five holes on the back side, including a crucial one on No. 16 to finally overtake Na.

His lead, though, was short-lived. After Cantlay made a bogey on No. 17, Na grabbed a share of the lead once again thanks to a deep par putt.

While Cantlay had a chance to make birdie on the final hole and grab the win, his putt was just inches off the cup β€” sending the two into the playoff.

β€œIt came down way too close,” Na said on the broadcast. β€œI had a comfortable lead. I felt really comfortable. … All the sudden, I felt like I was the underdog. But I’m a fighter.”

Na now has four career wins on the PGA Tour, his last coming at the Charles Schwab Challenge last year. The 36-year-old had three top-10 finishes on Tour last season and qualified for the BMW Championship β€” the second of three FedExCup Playoffs events. He withdrew from the tournament, however, to be with his wife as she was expecting their second child.

Cantlay, who fired a 3-under 68 on Sunday, finished in second, and Pat Perez took third at 21-under on the week. Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Hadwin and Brian Stuard tied for fourth at 20-under.

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