Match Play: Kevin Na passes on request to WD, rallies to beat Bubba Watson

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Match Play: Kevin Na passes on request to WD, rallies to beat Bubba Watson

PGA Tour

Match Play: Kevin Na passes on request to WD, rallies to beat Bubba Watson

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Kevin Na exchanged a few text messages with his pal Bubba Watson Wednesday before their first-round match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas.

Watson also passed along a simple request to his opponent.

“He asked me to WD,” Na said.

Na took a pass on Watson’s tongue-in-cheek plea and then defeated the defending WGC-Dell Match Play champion Watson 1-up in their Group 15 match.

Na won four of his final six holes to clinch it.

The match turned on the par-5 No. 12, where a potential disaster for Na turned into a rallying point after he hit his second shot into the water.

“I made a mistake,” Na told Todd Lewis of Golf Channel after his match. “It was a great recovery making par. And Bubba had a tough two-putt and he didn’t two-putt. I halved the hole. I felt like I basically picked one up, even though I only halved the hole. I think that kind of changed the momentum.”

One example of that momentum was this incredible approach on No. 14 from 219 yards over the hospitality tents. Na would win that hole to tie the match.

In terms of numerical ranking, it was the biggest upset of the day thus far with Watson being ranked 15th in the tournament and Na slotted at No. 57. Na was also the lowest-seeded winner when he finished Wednesday.

Na has been battling a neck problem of late.

“Any time you beat a two-time Masters champion, it’s a great feeling.”

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