Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 07 2024
- 4 MIN
Scott Vincent playing well for Iron Heads

Iron Heads Captain Kevin Na is taking heart from his team’s much-improved performance in last week’s LIV Golf Jeddah, where they were in contention for a podium finish halfway through the final round.

Iron Heads eventually finished seventh and opened their account for the season, but it could have been a much better result.

Danny Lee shot a sublime 6-under 64 – his best score since the second round of Tulsa in 2023 – and Scott Vincent put his second-round 75 behind him with a Sunday 67.

However, Na, who seemed to be in great touch the first two days, dropped four shots over a stretch of nine holes in the middle of his round, and Jinichiro Kozuma struggled in the wind for a 72. And such is the nature of Sunday rounds on LIV Golf this year, with all four scores counting, the slightest of wobbles can prove costly.

Na said there were plenty of positives from Jeddah to take into LIV Golf Hong Kong this week, which is being played at 6,710-yard Hong Kong Golf Club, and there were a number of factors that could favour his team.

“Much improved performance from the team last week,” said Na.

“We potentially had a chance to podium. We were right up there. Danny coming back into form and shooting a 6-under on Sunday was a lot of help. He was off after surgery and needed more rounds, and it’s looking like like his feels are coming back.

“I feel like things are getting better for us. Vino bounced back and played well. Jini is getting comfortable at this stage and showed it with a 65 in the first round. He’s already putting together some good rounds. I feel I'm starting to play better.

“We are not the strongest team on paper, but when we’re playing to our potential, I think we can compete here. I think we’re doing well, and we’re turning the corner.”

Na, who said he was still experiencing jetlag following the long travel from Las Vegas to Saudi Arabia to the opposite end of the globe in Hong Kong, had opened with successive rounds of 66 in Jeddah, and had moved to fourth place after two early birdies on Sunday.

“I feel my game felt really good the first two rounds,” added the 40-year-old, winner of five PGA Tour titles. “Sunday. I didn’t have my best, but it was also playing difficult. But it wasn’t all that bad of a week overall. I felt I was like really close. My swing felt good.

“It’s tough to travel across the world like this and have your body ready. I just got worked on for quite a long time to get my body kind of reset. It’s just a matter of the body healing. Our new trainer, Jake, has done a really good job of getting the players ready for the tournament.”

Na agreed that the shorter course, and the experience of his team members of playing in the region will give them a slight advantage.

“The course does fit us well…now it’s just a matter of us having our A game. Because this is a short course, it does not mean it is an easy course. If you aren’t on top of your game, good luck to you.

“Danny’s body is not feeling all that great after all that travel and last week, but I’ll tell you what I think. I think Vino is going to have a good week, and I think Jini will also have a good week. They have a good idea of the golf course and they have experience of playing so much golf in the region. They are up for whatever weather we get this week.”