Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 07 2024
- 4 MIN
Lee Jeddah

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia – The final round of LIV Golf Jeddah was personally disappointing for Iron Heads GC Captain Kevin Na, who made four bogeys coming in on Sunday and dropped from fourth place at one stage to tied 15th.

It wasn’t the finish Na was looking for, especially after a strong display on the first two days, but he would have been pleased for his friend and teammate Danny Lee, who closed with a sizzling, bogey-free 6-under 64, the second-lowest rounds of the final day, which was played in tricky conditions.

The New Zealander, now a resident of Las Vegas, won in his second start on LIV Golf in Tucson last year, but struggled throughout the year with chipped bones in his left wrist that needed immediate surgery after he finished the Team Championship last year.

“After the surgery, my doctor said it would take six-seven weeks before I can start hitting balls. It took a little bit longer than that. I tried hitting balls a couple of times after two months, but it would still hurt a lot,” said Lee.

“I got back into serious practice like just two weeks before Mayakoba and even then, I wasn’t always generating the swing speed I wanted. I was hitting it short and struggled in the narrow golf courses in Mexico and Las Vegas. Somehow managed to not finish outside the top-48, which was good.

“The wrist is 100% better and so is my body. My problem right now is that I just got to trust myself and get out of my own way.”

The last time Lee shot a 6-under round was on Saturday of Tulsa in May last year. The long gap made the round in Jeddah sweeter.

“I really needed to see one decent round after the surgery. I’ve been working hard. And I felt like I had everything needed to get a low one, but I just couldn’t pull it out for some reason. I’m just happy I finally got a good round,” said Lee.

“Everything worked today. I mean, it’s such a tough golf course and always windy out here. So, you’ve got to hit it really good… you just can’t fake it. I was hitting my drives good, my iron shots were good and I putted well today.

“Right after I made my five-footer for par on the last hole, I told my caddie that this might be our breakthrough moment. We all knew good things were coming, so it was just a matter of time. Hopefully, I can keep building on this momentum and do something great in the future.”

Iron Heads finished tied sixth in the team championship and moved one position up in the team standings to No. 11.

Kevin Na – T15th – 66-66-71-203 (7-under)

Na put together a masterpiece of solid golf for his first 35 holes – played without making a single bogey – but it was a tough stretch of nine holes in the middle of his final round, where he dropped four shots, that prevented the Las Vegas resident from having a much better result than his eventual tied 15th place. At one stage on Sunday, with two early birdies, he had climbed to inside the top-5.

Na moved to No. 28 in the Individual Standings with 4.67 points.

Danny Lee – T27th – 72-69-64-205 (5-under)

Lee, winner in Tucson in the second start of his LIV Golf career last year, is trending in the right direction and the final-round 64 in Jeddah might just be the turning point for him. He seems to be over the wrist injury, and he seems to have shaken off the rust. 48th in Mayakoba and tied 39th in Las Vegas, the tied 27th in Jeddah was also his best finish of the season so far.

Jinichiro Kozuma – T31st – 65-70-72-207 (3-under)

The 29-year-old Japanese is another Iron Heads star moving in the right direction. He looked set to earn his first points in the 2024 season, but a poor final round after two solid days in Jeddah denied him that. Kozuma was tied 38th in Mayakoba, tied 34th in Vegas and tied 31st in Jeddah. He is yet to open his account in the Individual Standings.

Scott Vincent – T41st – 67-75-67-209 (1-under)

The Zimbabwean put together two good rounds of 67, but such is the nature of LIV Golf’s shorter format that a single bad day can ruin everything and that’s what happened with Vincent. Returning to the scene of his big moment in the 2023 season, Vincent did not get the result he was looking for. An inexplicable 75 pushed him way down the leaderboard.

Field ranking in parentheses

Fairways Hit
Na – 24 (T13)
Kozuma – 19 (T37)
Lee – 24 (T13)
Vincent – 24 (T13)

Greens in Regulation
Na – 39 (T19)
Kozuma – 33 (T48)
Lee – 41 (T10)
Vincent – 37 (T29)

Total Putts
Na – 86 (T17)
Kozuma – 84 (T11)
Lee – 88 (T30)
Vincent – 86 (T17)

Total Birdies
Na – 12 (T24)
Kozuma – 11 (T29)
Lee – 10 (T34)
Vincent – 12 (T24)

Driving Distance Avg.
Na – 299.1 (46)
Kozuma – 313.9 (24)
Lee – 310.8 (T28)
Vincent – 306.5 (35)