As most everyone knows by now, Kevin Na made a 16, 12 over par, at the Valero Texas Open yesterday. I live not too far from the TPC San Antonio course where the tournament is played, and understand how this could happen if you get in the wrong place around here.
My house and the TPC are located in the beginnings of the Texas Hill Country, in the area of the Balcones Escarpment just north of San Antonio. The undisturbed land is rocky and covered primarily by live oak and juniper. They call the juniper Mountain Cedar around here, and it grows to a large tree if left alone.
This picture is a reasonable facsimile of what Na would have confronted from the woods along the fairway. I took this picture on my property at the foot of my driveway. I’ve left the vegetation undisturbed for privacy, as they left it undisturbed for environmental reasons at the TPC. You can imagine the difficulty of extricating yourself from this. An unplayable drop of two club lengths wouldn’t help much.
The next picture is what Na’s lie is likely to have looked like. Notice the rocks in addition to the tree problems. I play with one group around here that lets everyone carry a 15th club as a “rock club” so you can choose not to destroy a good club if you get too far into trouble.
A reasonable course of action for us normal folks is to pick up and take our maximum equitable stroke control score on the hole when we get trapped like this. Of course, Na didn’t have this option.
I can only sympathize with him, and wonder how many clubs he had to replace after this experience.