PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Robert Garrigus missed two short putts on the back nine and had to settle for a 1-under 70 and a one-shot lead Saturday in the Valspar Championship. He still had a four-shot lead when he missed a 4-foot par putt on the 12th hole, and his lead was down to a single shot when Garrigus missed a 3-foot par putt on the final hole. Kevin Na chipped in for birdie on the 15th and shot a 68.
The final group was put on the clock on the back nine, and Na received a bad time on the 13th tee. Na was so deliberate that the final group at times was two holes behind along the back nine, though it finished in just under four hours.
Garrigus paid the price, too.
He was given a bad time for the first time in his career, shocking because he is among the fastest players on tour. In this case, he had a tough lie in the rough on the 14th hole and walked up to the green to gauge his options. That led to the bad time, and Garrigus said he didn't bother looking at his next shot as long as he normally would have. It was a long putt that ran some 15 feet by the hole, but he made that for par.
Na was defensive about the pace, and his reputation.
"I know how to play," he said. "I don't know what people have said, but I don't think I should be criticized."
Asked how much he has improved since his slow play was on display at The Players Championship in 2012, when he couldn't take a swing or sometimes purposely swung over the ball so he could start over, Na said, "A ton."
"It's not fair to me," he said. "I already have that stamp on me."
Garrigus, who needs a win to get into the Masters next month, opened with back-to-back birdies on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook and stretched his lead to four shots with a nifty flop shot off the pine straw to set up a birdie on the par-5 fifth.
Garrigus was at 8-under 205.
"I had fun," Garrigus said. "I'm in a good position. If I play a good round tomorrow, if I shoot under par, they're going to have to come get me."