July 25, 2009 (UPDATED JULY 28) --Kevin Na is one of the most recent players on the PGA Tour to become a resident of Las Vegas. Na plays and practices out of TPC Las Vegas and TPC Summerlin, the PGA Tour-owned Las Vegas golf courses in the northwest area of the Las Vegas valley. And Na is now enjoying his best year on the PGA Tour, and in the weather-delayed first round of the Canadian Open he went seriously low with a 28 on the front nine holes and finished with a 63 for the first round lead. His great play was spurred on when he and his caddie disagreed over a strategic decision early on in the round. LIVE RESULTS.
Na birdied 7 of the 9 holes on the front nine holes, including five in a row. He played the holes as his back nine and birdied holes 5-9 coming down the stretch during a round that was delayed by weather and players were allowed relief with each shot, one of five PGA Tour events this year to have that rule in effect. Na finished in a tie for 8th at last year's Canadian Open. Na fell quickly down the leaderboard and finished in a tie for 53rd after closing with rounds of 71-74-76.
"I played really well." Na said in the press conference following the round. "I shot 9-under, but it all started on my first hole when I started after the delay on 11, which was (actually) my second hole. Pulled my tee shot into the tree and I didn't have a good lie in the rough, and I had to go over the creek. And I told my caddie, I said, 'I think I can get over the tree.' He goes, 'there's no way you can get over the tree.' We sat and argued there for a couple minutes. I said, 'I can do it.' He said, 'no, you can't.' He rarely says you can't do something, so he made me pitch out, and I ended up making a 15-footer for par that kind of kept the round going. And after that I started to back down and started catching fire."
The Las Vegas golf area is home to no less than 29 golfers who are currently on the money lists of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour or Nationwide Tour. Other Las Vegas golfers competing in the Canadian Open include Craig Barlow, who got in on a sponsor's exemption but is playing the Nationwide Tour full time as he tries to regain his PGA Tour status. Barlow plays out of Las Vegas golf course Cascata; Dean Wilson, another player who plays out of TPC Las Vegas; former UNLV All-American Chris Riley, who challenged for the win at the U.S. Bank Championship last week; former UNLV golfer Andres Gonzales, who has been playing the mini-tours; Las Vegas native Scott Piercy; and former UNLV golfer James Oh. Riley had another solid effort and finished in a tie for 16th with the help of a final-round 69.
Las Vegas is also home to more than 50 Las Vegas resort golf courses, where many of the pros play and practice. You can act now to secure true value Las Vegas golf packages and Las Vegas tee times by visiting LasVegasTeeUp.com, a website that offers live, online Las Vegas golf tee times at Las Vegas golf courses in addition to information and phone numbers to connect with personal VIP service for Las Vegas golf packages.
Na's first-round share of the lead marked the second time he had held at least a share of the 18-hole lead. He previously held a share of the first-round lead at the 2007 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial before ultimately finishing T7. Na is in the midst of his best year since joining the PGA TOUR in 2004. He has seven top-10s to his credit this year, including a T3 at THE PLAYERS and a T7 at last week's U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.