Moments after securing a playoff victory in his home town at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kevin Na appeared on the brink of tears while delivering an impassioned speech in Korean to fans in his native country.
Na was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 8 years old. After defeating Patrick Cantlay on the second playoff hole in Las Vegas, where he now lives and where he earned his first PGA Tour win back in 2011, Na devoted more than 45 seconds of his on-air, post-round interview to an emotional message for his Korean supporters.
Na’s comments in Korean amounted to the following: “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.”
When asked to elaborate on his Korean comments during a news conference that followed the trophy presentation, Na declined to provide specifics.
“I just said it took a lot of hard work,” Na told reporters. “I thanked the fans for believing in me, cheering for me. Just wanted to send a message back home.”
After going nearly seven years without a victory, the 36-year-old now has three Tour wins in his last 30 starts including last summer at The Greenbrier and earlier this year at Colonial.