By: Jeff Heisner
If you caught The Players Championship this weekend you probably witnessed one of the more bizarre scenes in golf and one of the more gracious ways to handle adversity.
It was a great example for not just the sports world, but businesses and professionals to follow.
Kevin Na somehow played himself into contention.
This despite being so uncomfortable standing over the golf ball he couldn’t get himself to swing the club.
Na stood over the ball seemingly ready to pull the trigger, but instead would waggle his club back and forth, take a few more practice swings, even back off the ball.
On several occasions Na barked at himself in frustration.
Not only was it uncomfortable for Na, it was tough for fans watching on TV or at the course.
Many people at the TPC Sawgrass showed their displeasure with the amount of time he was taking by the lashing out and heckling the 28 year old golfer.
Fans yelled at Na, “hit the ball!”
As the day went on and the beers went down, a few fans showed great originality singing “Na, Na, Na, Na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.”
Like he’s never heard that before.
It turned out to be a frustrating day for Na who endured the taunts, the swing demons, and struggled on Sunday finishing tied for 7th.
Na did win over his share of people with his post-round comments and how he dealt with the unruly fans.
“I feel like I did a decent job today,” Na told The Golf Channel on Sunday. “I appreciate all the people who are rooting for me. I can hear people rooting for me. There are a couple guys who get on your nerves, but it is what it is.”
“Honestly, part of it, I deserve it,” Na said. “I’m being honest.”
“I’m not being nice to myself, trust me. I’m ripping myself. But, you know, there’s so much on the line that I just have to sometimes back off… As ugly as it is and as painful as it is, believe me, it’s really tough for me, and I’m trying.”
Before The Players Championship, Na was best known for taking a 16 on one hole during a PGA tournament.
He earned his share of fans then, as he was able to poke fun at himself over his score.
Here’s hoping Na gets things straightened out, and speeds up his play.
He is very candid, a good interview, who golf fans could embrace.
And on this occasion Na gives us a great lesson on how to handle a difficult public situation (addressing the problem and taking his share of the blame).