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April 16, 2015

Kevin Kisner


JOHN BUSH:テつ We'd like to welcome Kevin Kisner into the interview room.テつ 3‑under par today at the RBC Heritage, a tournament I know means a lot to you; making your third start here.テつ If we can get comments on your opening round.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ It was a good round, early morning, different weather conditions, but, you know, it's still attainable if you played solid just because it wasn't blowing hard enough like it was last year.テつ Last year it was almost impossible, if you remember that.テつ Glad to be back in the Lowcountry, my home state tournament.テつ So excited to perform in front of family and friends and looking forward to the weekend.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Before we open it up, just recap your season for us.テつ Your best finish was a T‑4 at the McGladrey Classic.テつ Could you comment on the year as a whole.テつテつ
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I always struggle on the West Coast.テつ A good ol' Southern boy doesn't putt on poa annua too well.テつ I'm getting back to some grass that I like.テつ I started a trend in the right direction.テつ This is probably about where I start playing my best in the previous years.テつ Last year I did okay here, and then got on a run at Charlotte and the Byron Nelson.テつ Hopefully it's going that way again.

Q.テつ Talk about struggling on the West Coast.テつ Did you adjust your schedule at all?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I think if I won a tournament where I didn't feel like I had to go, I would probably just play Phoenix and Humana and that would probably be it.テつ Maybe Sony, Phoenix, Humana, and I would stay away from Torrey Pines and Riviera.テつ I mean, I love the golf courses, but I feel like I never make a putt.テつ And on this tour you've got to be able to putt.
I've let it run too far, the bad putting.テつ I let it creep into my mind and go too far into the year.テつ There's no reason to do that.テつ If I won a tournament, I'd probably play just those three.

Q.テつ It's really early, but must always be nice to see your name on the leaderboard.テつ What do you think you did well today?テつ And did the weather maybe soften up the course a little bit?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I was shocked at how good the fairways were.テつ Obviously the greens are small enough where they can get the water off of them here.テつ Man, those grounds crew, they must have been up all night working on this place.テつ I don't think I got one mud ball.テつ We played the ball down, but the fairways are really good.テつ In fact, you've got more mud on it if you're in the rough than on the fairways.テつ Driving was really good.

Q.テつ How about leading after the first round?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ That would be nice, you never know out here.テつ We've got 54 holes to go.テつ Anything can happen.テつ Just keep doing what I'm doing.テつ I kept the ball in the right places.テつ I've played here enough that I know where you can get it up and down from.テつ And that's huge here.テつ You're not going to get it on the greens; the greens are too small.テつ And I got it up and down today, so that was really the strength of the game.

Q.テつ Wondering if you were surprised that the scores aren't actually a little bit lower.テつ I think they were at one point about mid‑morning only about 17 golfers that were even under par, which is a little atypical.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I haven't seen the scoreboard.テつ But it's not an easy golf course.テつ I wish we played more golf courses like it.テつ You get out of position, you're not going to make par.テつ There's no way around it.テつ You get on the wrong side of the greens, you can't get it up and down unless you're holing a 20‑footer.テつ You hit it into the woods, you chip it out, there's no gap to get you to the greens.テつ So you have to drive it well and you have to be really precise where you miss your irons.テつ We've got difficult par‑3s with water around them, and swirling wind against trees, it makes it difficult.

Q.テつ You talked earlier about having a lot of family and friends.テつ Could you kind of run through the roster of your fans here this week?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ My wife and baby are here, and my parents are staying with me, and some of their best friends are here.テつ Another couple their best friends are here.テつ My wifeis actually leaving.テつ Her sister is getting married, and her bachelorette is this weekend.テつ It will be me and my parents this weekend.テつ Obviously she'll come back if I have a chance on Sunday.テつ Her parents are going to keep our kid this weekend while she goes to that.テつ I'll be solo, and maybe get some sleep this weekend.

Q.テつ And a little more specifically about your discomfort with greens on the West Coast versus the Bermuda and the stuff here?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ This is just what I grew up on.テつ Guys that are from the West Coast complain by the grain, and I don't even look at grain here.テつ So I just putt like I've always putted.テつ And I guess that's why I'm not very good on the poa annua, and they laugh at me out there.

Q.テつ Can you talk us through that three birdie stretch, it was 15, 16, 17.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, you know, I always struggle to layup on 15 because the greens over here, but you're shooting out to the right.テつ I got it in the fairway, and had a perfect number today.テつ Hit it into a foot, so that was good.
16 is a super difficult hole to make.テつ It's straight into the wind.テつ So you've got to pound it to get it out there.テつ I hit a great 9‑iron probably six feet from the hole and had an easy putt straight up the hill.
17 was an 8‑iron about 15 feet right of the hole, just short of the hole, and made that one, too.
So days like this, you know, you want to make all those birdie chances you get, because you know you're not going to have that many opportunities.

Q.テつ I know you've been busy, obviously, have you been out to 18?テつ The South Carolina Golf Association has their tent out there, last year they had your name and other guys.テつ Is that like a brotherhood out here on the Tour with all the guys from South Carolina?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, I went last night, they had a big party and asked us all to come.テつ So I stopped by but I guess it wasn't a big party because of the storm.テつ It was funny because they said, we evacuate people all the time in this, and here we are in a metal tent and there's thunder and lightning.テつ How smart is that?
But I stopped by and said hello.テつ We have such a great junior golf association here in South Carolina.テつ They have 20 guys on the wall that have either played in the tournament or are playing.テつ So we grew up playing with each other.テつ Not all jumped into AJGA and traveled across the country, because we had such good competition here.テつ So we're familiar with each other and we grew up playing with each other, so we're all buddies.

Q.テつ Earlier you said you actually only played here as a junior one time, for nine holes?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, nine holes, yeah.

Q.テつ Were you comfortable here, though, from day one when you came?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ No, the first year I got in, I don't remember feeling like I knew the golf course like I do now.
But last year was good.テつ I played solid last year.テつ Probably middle of the pack all weekend.テつ I played better as I learned the golf course more, and all the wind directions.テつ So today I played really comfortable.テつ I played the Pro Am on Monday, and played nine holes Tuesday.

Q.テつ How big would it be for a South Carolinian to win the only tournament held in South Carolina?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ That would be sweet.テつ Local guy, local tournament‑‑ well, I'm local in the state.テつ We only have one shot at this.テつ So hopefully we have a few South Carolina guys that have a chance on Sunday.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Kevin Kisner, thank you.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Thanks guys.

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