Q-School Tales: Recollections from Na

Mon 17 Nov 2014

Q-School Tales: Recollections from Na

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As a wide-eyed 18-year-old fresh out of Qualifying School, Korean-American Kevin Na embarked on journey on the Asian Tour that would shape his life forever.
Unable to gain a foothold on any professional golf circuits in the United States at the start of the millennium, Na decided to venture afar from the comforts of home to Asia.
And so the journeyman began his career and in what was only his nine starts since graduating from Qualifying School, Na produced five top-10s before going on to win the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia in 2002.
“When I first turned pro, I came out to the Asian Tour.  I got the experience, learned how to play competitively in the professional world and got to travel.
“I won a tournament, which opened many doors for me including playing in Europe. I even got in the World Championship in Firestone because of the win,” said Na.
Now aged 31, older and wiser, Na, who was born in Korea but raised in the United States, still cannot help but reminisce about his early days as an aspiring professional and his first win on the Asian Tour in Malaysia.
“Yeah.  I think about it all the time.  I remember my dad caddying for me.  I was just a kid and as I made the turn and looked at the leaderboard, I looked towards my dad. I was like, man, I got a chance to win this golf tournament.
“I started to birdie 10, 11, 12 and 13 and continued to look at the leaderboard where I had a two shot lead.  It wasn't the easiest last two holes coming in, but I hung in there, and I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Na, who went on to earn his PGA TOUR card in 2004 and lifted his first PGA TOUR title in 2011.
Armed with a wealth of experience having been a professional for over a decade, Na still dishes out valuable advice to aspiring professionals who like, him before, harbour hopes of becoming the next superstar in golf.
“A lot of the youngsters who play in the United States and want to turn pro, whether during college or after college, they only want to sign up for U.S. Tours.  I said, what are you doing?  I said, yeah, great if you get through U.S. TOUR school, but you should also sign up for the Asian Tour, because over there, you basically don't have to go and play Monday qualifying you get to play in a major tour.
“When you get your win out there, it gives you the opportunity to play in Europe, big events and you also get world ranking points. I tell them, that is a great tour to develop your game and it gets you to the top of the world,” said Na.
*Entry forms for 2015 Asian Tour Qualifying School are now available on www.asiantour.com  All enquiries and entries for Qualifying School should be sent to Q-School2015@asiantour.com
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