Kevin Na Defends Friend Bio Kim Over "Ridiculous" Three Year Ban

Na is good friends with Bio Kim and revealed that he has been in contact with him after his three year ban for swearing at the crowd on the Korean Tour

Kevin Na Defends Friend Bio Kim Over "Ridiculous" Three Year Ban

Na is good friends with Bio Kim and revealed that they've been in contact with him after his three year ban for swearing at the crowd on the Korean Tour

Kevin Na Defends Friend Bio Kim Over "Ridiculous" Three Year Ban

Kevin Na has defended his countryman Bio Kim after Kim was banned for three years by the Korean Tour for a middle finger gesture to the crowd.

He swore at the crowd and then slammed his club on the ground after a camera went off during his backswing.

Kim went on to win the tournament and leads the Order of Merit but is now banned for three years.

Kevin Na, who knows Bio Kim well, was asked about his misdemeanour and punishment, calling it "extreme" and "ridiculous."

He also said that he has been in contact with him and trying to help, with Na saying that Kim, whose wife is pregnant, is "depressed."

"I don't know where to start," Na said at the Shriners Open this week in Las Vegas.

"I know Bio very well. When he played on the PGA Tour I was very good friends with him. Played a lot of practice rounds together. I don't want to say I helped him, but felt like I was trying to be a good kind of big brother to him.

"We developed a really good relationship. What he did was wrong. Kind of surprised me. He's not that kind of person. I talked to him on the phone yesterday. We exchanged some texts. From what I've gathered, I guess it wasn't the first time that happened that day. He was fed up with it.

"Yes, what he did was wrong. Should he be fined? Yes. Three years is ridiculous. I talked to - I won't say who - but I talked to someone from the [PGA] Tour about the situation and what the Tour would've done if a case like this happened.

"So the person up on the Tour said, 'Was there physical contact with the spectator? Commentator.' I said, 'No.' 'Does this guy have a history of behaviour issues?' 'No.' Then it seems pretty extreme to me.

"You're taking a man's job for three years. Yes, he was unprofessional and there should be consequences for it, but not take a man's job away for three years. At the same time, the spectator was disrespecting the game and the player at the same time.

"Yes, it happened, but three years is -- I mean, for what? I mean, at the same time, I also think he should get an opportunity to make things right. Apologise, whether it's to the fan, to that individual fan, the golf world, Korean media, but I hope -- I mean, I'm trying everything I can to help him.

"I've made some comments on social media that I think it's ridiculous. I called some people high up in the Korean society to help him. Talked to him. Connected him with the PGA Tour so he can -- so this doesn't go -- affect him other places in the world where he can play maybe the Korn Ferry Tour or China Tour, Latin American Tour, wherever that might be.

"So, look, I know this is an individual sport, but when a player, a fellow golfer is being singled out I want to say, I think we need to get together and help him.

"Yes, what he did was 100% wrong. Going back to three year suspension is not the what he deserves."

Related: Brooks Koepka hints that he was the best player of 2019

Na also said that he has spoken to Bio Kim since the incident and he is "depressed."

"He's depressed. I mean, I can hear it in his voice," Na said.

"I texted him because I said, 'call me ASAP. The Tour wants to talk to you.' Called me in the morning as soon as he woke up because of the time change and he sounded just torn.

"His wife is pregnant. I know his wife is pregnant. I said, 'you know what? I know you're going through a rough time. Be good to your wife. I am sure it's hard for her.'

"Like I said, I'm trying everything I can. Not that I can do much.

"I am sure the Korean Tour players are getting together and getting their voice out. All the players around the world should get a voice out and say this is ridiculous. You can't take a man's job away for three years for one incident. Everybody makes mistakes.

"Like I said, if this was fifth or sixth offence I get it. But when you have no offence and have had good behaviour, you're a good guy, people like him, you can't do that to a person."

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels @golfmonthlymagazine on Facebook and @golfmonthly on Twitter and Instagram

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV