Kevin Na made a 2-foot birdie on the final hole to win the Sony Open in Hawaii today by one shot.
Na finished the tournament at Waialae Country Club at 21-under par for the tournament after shooting 5-under par 65 today. It is his fifth career PGA Tour victory and first win at the Sony Open, where his previous best finish was a tie for fourth in 2008.
“I felt like Waialae is a golf course I really have a chance at, so I have to take advantage of it,” Na said.
Chris Kirk had taken the clubhouse lead by also shooting 65 and finishing his tournament at 20-under. Na was tied with him and Brendan Steele was one shot back, with Joaquin Niemann two off the pace.
Then, Niemann put himself back into the picture, curling a birdie putt into the cup at No. 17 to join Steele at 19-under.
Steele and Niemann still had a chance going into No. 18 to at least shoot their way into a playoff, but Na had an opportunity to win outright with a birdie.
After Na’s chip from 27 feet on his third shot on the par 5 No. 18, all he had to do was make the 2-foot putt for birdie, which he did.
Na, 37, was born in Seoul. He turned pro in 2001 and now lives in Las Vegas. This victory is his second of the 2020-21 season, and makes it four calendar years in a row for him with a PGA tournament win.
“It’s a great feeling. Nice to get it done early,” Na said. “But I’d like to win another one before the season’s over.”
Na climbed into contention with 9-under par 61 in Saturday’s third round. The 61 is now a four-time career-best round for Na.
Niemann birdied No. 18 to shoot 66 for the round and tied for second with Kirk at 20 under. Steele parred No. 18 for a 1-under 69 on the day, and finished in an overall tie for fourth with Webb Simpson and Marc Leishman.
Steele had started the final round as the leader for the second year in a row. This time he was two strokes ahead of Na and Niemann. Last year, Steele led by three going into Sunday, but Cameron Smith tied him for the lead at 18 and then won on the first playoff hole.
“You just try to pick yourself up next week and try to give yourself another chance,” Steele said.
Smith shot 1-over 71 par today to finish 8 under and tied for 62nd.
It was also another oh-so-close finish in Hawaii for Niemann, who finished second at The Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Maui, last week, in a playoff against Harris English.