Kevin Na delivers cryptic remarks to Korean fans after win, refers to ‘false rumors’
Kevin Na took down Patrick Cantlay to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in Las Vegas, where Na now lives, but he also delivered an emotional message to his native country.
Na, 36, was born in South Korea but moved to the States when he was 8. He led the Shriners by two entering the day, made a triple bogey on the 10th hole to let the field back in it and lost his lead to Cantlay on the 16th hole. But Na tied Cantlay on the 17th and later won on the second playoff hole. It was an exhausting day, both physically and emotionally, for the four-time PGA Tour winner.
After answering questions about battling Cantlay down the stretch and overcoming a triple bogey on 10, Na told Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe, “I want to say something in Korean, too.” Na was immediately overcome with emotion, and he took several seconds to collect his thoughts before he rattled off a thoughtful message that lasted 45 seconds.
He was asked what he said in his winner’s press conference that evening.
“I just said it took a lot of hard work,” Na said. “I thanked the fans for believing in me, cheering for me. Just wanted to send a message back home.”
But according to Golf Channel’s Will Gray, Golf Channel translated the comments to say: “To my Korean fans, for always supporting and believing in me despite all these false rumors. I want to say thank you. No matter what anyone said about me, I have been very happy. So as I kept my mouth shut, I feel like I showed you my feelings with my clubs today. Even as I bit my tongue, I have gotten to this point. Thank you to my fans again, I will see you soon at the CJ Cup.”
Na later declined to add further context to Golf Channel. You can watch Na’s post-round interview below.