Kevin Na raring to compete in Las Vegas again

LAS VEGAS — The second event of the 2024 LIV Golf season is a home game for Kevin Na.

“Somebody asked me, ‘Is it nice being home?’ I said yeah, you get to sleep in your own bed, have a lot of the advantages,” Na said Wednesday. “The disadvantage is I’ve got three kids at home. The disadvantage is every time I get home it’s, ‘Daddy, can you play with me?'”

The longtime Las Vegas resident hopes that a propensity for winning in Vegas on the PGA Tour will carry over to LIV as the third-year league holds its first event in the city.

Na, 40, was one of the first golfers to play an LIV event and receive a suspension from the PGA Tour as a result. He said Tuesday one of the biggest appeals to making the jump to LIV was the lighter schedule, allowing him to see more of his family — those three pesky kids — but also the financial opportunity and the league’s team element.

“Look, I didn’t play college golf, and I’ve played an individual game for 22 years of my professional career,” Na said. “It’s still an individual, but to have a team aspect, and I wanted to be experienced and try something different and something unique, and I think I’m really enjoying it, and being able to call these guys my brothers and go out to dinner, play practice rounds, hang out, and have the same passion and have the same goals together and work hard together. I think it’s been a very exciting journey.”

The captain of Iron Heads GC, Na’s teammates in 2024 are New Zealand’s Danny Lee, South Africa’s Scott Vincent and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma.

Before Na left the PGA Tour, he was a two-time winner at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the tour’s annual Las Vegas stop at TPC Summerlin. This week’s LIV event is at Las Vegas Country Club.

Na admitted he misses the Shriners, which he won in 2011 and 2019.

“I think my friends and local fans miss me. I really loved playing that event,” Na said. “I love TPC Summerlin. I enjoy practicing there and playing there. I feel like that was one of the home courses that I use out here.

“Is it disappointing? Yeah. But I think eventually over time that things will be sorted out and I’ll be able to go back and play in front of a home crowd at Shriners.”

As for the week at hand, Na feels ready to contend in Sin City once again.

“My record has been really good at home. Something about being comfortable,” he said. “I’ve played this golf course quite a bit. I think it fits my style of game. I’ll tell you what, I felt decent last week. An average week, but I felt like my game was better than how I finished, so I’m looking forward to a great week.”