Na in 180 on Erin Hill views

Kevin Na shot 68 in the first round at the US Open and sounded far more chipper than he did before the tournament began.

Na received plenty of flack for his Instagram video which he posted in the build-up to the US Open which implied that he felt the fescue at Erin Hills was too long and made for an unfair test of players’ abilities.

Among those not impressed with his whining was Rory McIlroy.

“I feel like some of the players this week, the rough’s already got into their head,” the Northern Irishman said before play started.

“That’s not the way you want to start off. You want to start off with positivity and a positive frame of mind, and that’s the way I’m trying to approach it this week.

“We’re playing for over $2 million this week.

“We don’t have much to complain about out here.”

However, on Thursday it was Na who shot a sparkling four-under-par-68 to be within three shots of leader Rickie Fowler while McIlroy bombed out with an ugly six-over-par-78.

“I think some people took my social-media post kind of the wrong way,” said Na of his rant.

“If you read my post, it says I love the design. I was just trying to show what we have in some spots. And fairways are generous. I said all that.

“But I guess people don’t like to read.

“It’s a good design. It’s a long golf course, but the shorter hitters somewhat have a chance, because you’ve got to keep it out of the fescue.

“I drove it great today and I think that was the key to a good round.”

Despite McIlroy’s criticism of Na’s assessment of Erin Hills, the American joked that it was because of him that the USGA trimmed some sections of fescue and added that lots of fellow competitors had thanked him for it.

“A lot of players were saying thank you, they mowed the fescue because of me,” Na went on.

“And ‘Hey, can you tell them the course is too long, they’ll move up the tees.’ The players get it. And I had a good time.”

“The thing that I didn’t like was people made it sound like I don’t enjoy the US Open.

“I love the US Open. I’m honoured to be here, happy to be here. I love it, and I think we’re going to have a great week.”

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