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By Christopher Powers
Kevin Na. Photo by Golffile
Scores weren't just low on Saturday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, they were crazy low. Twenty four players shot five under or better, and 17 of those players shot six under or better. Pat Perez, who was just three off the lead to begin the day, shot a nine-under 62.
He's still three back. Tony Finau shot 62 as well. He's seven back. Patrick Cantlay, who was tied for the lead after 36 holes, shot an eight under 63, which has him two off the lead.
How is this possible? Well, that's because no one went lower than Kevin Na, who is the solo leader at 22-under 191 thanks to a ridiculous third-round, bogey-free, 10-under 61 at TPC Summerlin. Making the round all the more impressive was that it came after a nine-under 62 on Friday, meaning he's played the last 36 holes in 19 under par. Not surprisingly, the putter has been key.
"I just feel confident. I feel comfortable. I feel like I'm hitting a lot of good strokes and hit good putts," said Na, who ranks first in strokes-gained: putting and first in putts per green in regulation.
"All I'm trying to do is hit my line and just focus on that, and not be so caught up in what it does and just trying to hit a good putt."
Na, who lives in Las Vegas, is looking for his second career victory at the Shriners, his first coming in 2011. It was his first career win, and his next wouldn't come until July of 2018 at The Greenbrier. It took him a significantly less amount of time to get his third, which came this past May at Colonial. A win tomorrow would be his second in less than five months.
"It would mean a lot," Na said. "Especially with having a newborn, my son Leo. It would be nice if I could get -- I won in front of Sophia [Na's daughter], so nice if I could get another W in front of both of them."
He'll play alongside Cantlay, whose history at TPC Summerlin may be more impressive than Na's. He also earned his first career win in Vegas two seasons ago, then backed it up with a runner-up finish to Bryson DeChambeau a year ago.
Perez is alone in third at 18-under 195, while Sam Ryder and Lucas Glover are tied for fourth at 17 under.