- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 27, 2004

Twenty-year-old Kevin Na enjoyed the best round and surge of anybody in the Booz Allen Classic field yesterday.

Na made seven birdies en route to a 64 to jump from 3 under to 10 under and moved from a tie for 35th to a tie for fifth when the rest of the field couldn’t duplicate the video game-style scores that had been shot Thursday and Friday.

“The wind was definitely tricky today. I had some club selections that ended up being very good,” Na said.

He also got some breaks. Na put his approach within 6 feet of the cup on the 16th hole, keeping it just right of the pin and avoiding the ridge that made this the second-toughest hole on the course yesterday. The field averaged 1.933 putts there, the third most of any hole.

“I was shocked to see where it was,” he said. “My caddie saw it, and he said, ‘This is the strongest I’m ever going to say something to you. Keep this right of the hole.’ I kept it just a yard or two right. I got up there, and a foot by where Hunter [Mahan] was putting from on the right side, it would have rolled off the green.”

Na knew after his round he would be in good position by sitting still. Only 10 players who started the day ahead of him shot better than 69, making his 64 as valuable as the 62s and 63s that littered the scoreboard earlier this week.

“I’m kind of glad I got it in,” he said.

Micheel looks for rebound

Shaun Micheel, who has been quiet after winning the PGA Championship last year, shot a 66 to move into a tie for 11th.

Micheel has struggled with his putter all season and is tied for 46th in the field this week in putts per round. But he is tied for third in greens in regulation, and hopes his play this week is a sign of something more consistent coming around the corner.

“There’s a lot more to play for if you feel like you can’t win. You can try to play for something else,” he said. “It’s not any fun when you go into Sunday feeling like there’s nothing to play for except money, and that’s not why we’re out here.”

Micheel is concerned with the Ryder Cup. He is currently 28th in points but could move into contention with a string of top-10 finishes. And yesterday he sounded like he was starting a campaign to be a captain’s pick.

“I feel like I play tough courses well, and I’m a pretty good teammate,” he said. “I’ve got to get going. I probably need a win and a bunch of top-10s. But I’ll make it at some point in my career.”

Day, Daly fade

One commanded the biggest galleries Friday, and the other shot the day’s best round. But yesterday wasn’t kind to Glen Day or John Daly, both of whom stormed off the course without speaking to reporters after shooting 79 and 76, respectively.

Day entertained dual flirtations with the course record and a 59 before a two-hour rain delay took him out of contention for both Friday. Despite a second-round 62, he is only one stroke better in relation to par than he was after the first round. He hit only nine greens in regulation, and made back-to-back double bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes.

Daly wasn’t much more accurate, missing seven fairways and seven greens while making bogeys from the 11th through 13th holes.

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