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Na joins Daly in record books

Record scores make pleasant reading for amateurs!

Posted Apr 18, 2011 by Legends

Kevin Na

There are moments in golf when, as a player, you wish the ground would open up and swallow you to avoid any more embarrassment, and today we’re going to look at a few. No, Rory McIlroy’s capitulation at last week’s Masters will not be involved, neither will Greg Norman’s shocker in the 1996 Masters that saw him lose out the Nick Faldo after being in a similarly commanding position. No, today we’re going to look at those moments that come from nowhere and will forever tarnish a player and his or her record.
The reason we’ve decided to do this isn’t to be cruel, but to simply show that even some of the very best players hit bad patches during a round and it goes spectacularly wrong for them.
So where to start? Well, it has to be with the most recent – the horrendous ninth hole suffered by Kevin Na at the Texas Open this weekend where he shot a disastrous 16, the world score on a par four since records for scorecards began back in 1983.
The American had an otherwise flawless round that saw him card a remarkable four under for 17 holes. The only real blemish was this 12 over score that left him 13 behind the leaders after the first round.
It just goes to show that when golf decides it’s time to embarrass you, there’s not a lot else you can do.
Na acknowledged as much, saying: “I feel like I’m playing somewhat decent and it was one shot – actually two, but one that started the whole thing and it was one bad hole and that’s what’s crazy about this game. One bad hole can basically shoot you out of a tournament. That’s what I just did.”
Hi problems started when he fired his drive into the woods at the 474-yard par four. He found the ball, declared an unplayable lie and returned to the tee only to deep right into the woods again. His fourth shot hit a tree but the ball then ricocheted onto his trousers costing him a further two shot penalty. He then hit a further six shots in the woods as he plotted his escape before he finally found the rough and played to the fringe of the green from there.
The only worse score on the PGA Tour was John Daly’s 18 on a par five during the Bay Hill Invitational in 1993. There, Daly, who shot an 11 on the same course a few years later, hit six balls into the water on the par five sixth. The big hitting brute decided to take on a 320-yard approach over water and the only thing that won was his perseverance! The determination he displayed to finally make it was outstanding but, as he said at the time, it was a case of courage winning out over wisdom.
He added: “I’ve been working on my patience all year, and I guess after 32 holes my patience ran out. I’m not ashamed of what I did. I didn’t quit, I was just a little too determined.”
There are others we could look at but we’re running out of space so if you get the chance, take a look for Tom Weiskopf’s 13 at the 1980 Masters on the par-three 13th, or Billy Casper’s 14 at the par-three 16th in 2005, or perhaps Porky Oliver’s 16 at the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1953 on the par-three 16th at Cypress Point.
So there you have it, two examples of two exception golfers grabbing a taste of what it’s like for us mere mortals at times. When you’re next out on the course and it’s all going wrong, just remember these two and relax in the knowledge that it could be worse!

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