Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/13/12

Kevin Na has a pre-shot routine longer than a “Godfather” movie, but far less entertaining. The 28-year-old golfer, who leads The Players Championship through three rounds, recognizes how ridiculous his routine is and apologizes for it.

“There’s so much on the line that I just have to sometimes back off,” Na told the media on Saturday. “Or I’ll force myself to take it back, and on the way down I’ll pull up and go over the top (of the ball). As ugly as it is, and as painful as it is, believe me, it’s really tough for me. And I’m trying.

“Trust me, I get ripped a lot,” he said. “I know TV, Twitter and fans are tired of me backing off. I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is honestly, I’m trying. And it’s hard for me, too.”

Na was on the clock throughout the back nine because his routine was taking so long, and he was even given a bad time on the 16th hole. He says the lengthy routine is due to a swing change.

Some golfers, like Graeme McDowell, can overlook the routine to see the positives in Na’s swing. He tweeted the following on Saturday:

If you removed all Kevin Na’s idiosyncrasies before his takeaway, his action is actually pretty pure.#players

— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) May 12, 2012

Others, like Colt Knoss, are less forgiving:

@elkpga I don’t care what he wears. Tell him to play faster elk!!

— Colt Knost (@ColtKnost) May 12, 2012

As Na said, he’s trying. That’s all you can ask for, especially considering how well he’s playing. After all, remember what happens when he tries playing fast? He definitely doesn’t want a repeat of this madness.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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