Watch: Kevin Na lectures Dustin Johnson, wins heated match at WGC-Dell Match Play

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Tim Schmitt
·2 min read
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AUSTIN, Texas — Being the top player in the world doesn’t exclude you from listening to the concerns (or frustrations) of your fellow players.

Such was the case during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play when the World No. 1 Dustin Johnson drew the ire of Kevin Na over the concession of a putt.

On the 11th hole, Johnson picked up his ball on what would have been about a 13-inch putt. Na then approached him and insisted that Johnson should have waited for Na to concede before touching his ball.

At the time, Johnson was 1 up, but Na played with renewed vigor from there, dropping a birdie on No. 12 to square the match and then winning it with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.

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As his putt on 18 dropped, Na went to his signature move and followed the ball in. The rally knocked Johnson out of the tournament as Robert MacIntyre tied Adam Long in his match to advance out of Pool 1.

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Na explained the incident after the round’s conclusion.

“I had about a two and a half, just inside three feet for a par uphill; it’s straight putt, and his lipped out and everybody was like Ah, and he had six inches and obviously it’s good, but I hadn’t said anything and he whacked it, ” Na said. “I froze there and looked at Kenny and I wasn’t going to say that’s a penalty, you’re going to lose the hole. I was going to say, you know what, that was good anyway. I didn’t want to be over that putt and be thinking about that.

“So I called him over and said, ‘Hey, I’m not going to take the hole from you but I just want to let you know before I said something, you whacked the ball. But I’m going to give that putt to you so we’ll call it a halve and go to the next hole.’

“That’s what we did. I think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to say, we all know he can make a six-inch putt, so I think I did the right thing.”

Johnson hasn’t advanced out of the round-robin portion of the tournament since winning the whole thing back in 2017 when he topped Jon Rahm, 1 up.