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May 9, 2015

Kevin Kisner


THE MODERATOR: Great round today, 5-under 67, including that great first nine. If you could just talk about your round.

KEVIN KISNER: Got off to a great start. Two 31s in a row here, back nine yesterday, front nine today, which is pretty cool. You know, the front, I probably missed three putts inside 15 feet, so it could have been stupid. And then the last four or five holes weren't that great, drove it poorly on 14, 15 and 16, but proud of the way I finished. 17, I thought I hit a great shot, just too far, probably amped up and two great shots on 18, just didn't make the putt.

THE MODERATOR: This is your first time playing this tournament. Your overall impressions.

KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it's a packed house out there. It's pretty cool to watch. I hit it 15 feet on 18 and nobody applauded. I was like, where is that ball, couldn't see it, and I realized everybody was on 17 having all the fun. It's a cool tournament. It's cool that it's our tournament. They treat us so well here. All the guys in the locker room know your name. Everybody around knows who you are, and it's just a cool atmosphere that it's our tournament.

Q. Does this make it official you'll never play another event that's not played on Bermudagrass?
KEVIN KISNER: It's getting close. Yeah, it's funny, I don't get along with that poa annua too well. I don't know what it is, either; I guess it's just how I grew up. But Bermuda is sweet, and seems like every time around this time of year I start playing better, so it must be the grass.

Q. Is there something about the leaderboard that will make it easier for you tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it's crazy, at one point I saw there was like 45 guys within four shots of the lead. But I think that's the cool thing about this course and the way they set it up, best field of the year and everybody is playing pretty well. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, and you'd better get off to a hot start and start making some birdies or you'll get lapped. I saw when I started I already dropped 20 places before I teed off today. You try to put the steering wheel on, and you're going to get lapped.

Q. This is your first tournament here, but how many times have you had a chance to play this course before this weekend?
KEVIN KISNER: Probably about three or four. I used to -- Scott Brown and I live in the same town, and we used to bring some guys down in the wintertime and play. But obviously it's totally different now than it is then, and freezing cold and drinking beer and riding in golf carts. It's a little bit different with all those people screaming at you.

Q. Whose idea was it to come down here, yours or theirs?
KEVIN KISNER: Probably the guys from our club. They're all like, come on, take us down there, so Tom Wyatt, the guy that owns Sage Valley, we used to bring his bus down and have a good time, and probably too much fun, and I'm surprised they let us back in.

Q. Would you like to have beer with you tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, and music in my golf cart. That's the way I do it at home. No, it'll be fun. There's an odd level with the beers. You can have too many and things get awry, so I'll just stick to the water tomorrow.

Q. You went through a stretch earlier this season, you missed the cut four straight tournaments, only have missed it once in the last eight tournaments. What's turned it around for you?
KEVIN KISNER: I got off the West Coast. I bet I made $40,000 in my career on the West Coast. I don't know what it is. I guess I'm a slow starter. I don't do a whole lot in the off-season and then I go out there and I've never putted well on the greens and I rely on my putter a lot. It's just weird, it's like Harbour Town to John Deere is where I've got to make my hay and I've done it the last two years.

Q. How much of yesterday was about trying to get on the right side of the cut line and what kind of sparked your turnaround there?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it's an interesting week because I was probably only seven, eight shots from the lead, and it's so crowded, even coming in, I think I was 3-under playing 16, 17 and 18, and double bogey at any moment, you're right back on the number. You've got to get a chance to play the weekend to move up, and I did it and made a bomb on 18 to get me in the last few groups.

Q. To do everything right at Harbour Town except win because a guy made a putt on you, the moments after that, was it easy to take, or was there any realistic doubts or something that if it took you that long to have that kind of chance, how long would it take again?
KEVIN KISNER: No, the way I played, I was proud of myself. I hit every shot like I wanted to the last six holes, and even two playoff holes, I hit three great shots and two good putts. There's no way you can ever -- I mean, I just lost. That's all there is to it. He beat me. It's funny, I was having lunch with him this week. I said, you played good in the Match Play, didn't you? He said, yeah, Rory beat me in the final four. I had him 1-down and we both birdied 16, he birdied 17 and eagled 18. I go, man, it goes right back around to you, doesn't it? (Laughter.) We had a good laugh about that.

Q. How would you balance the disappointment of one guy doing one shot better and balancing any excitement about how well you played and what you could do with that going forward?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I guess it was interesting, the balance of it. I just kind of like -- I knew I was playing so well, and I knew that it probably wasn't going to leave, so I was more excited about the future. I knew the golf tournament was coming up I like and the golf course fit my game. I played well in Charlotte last year. Obviously I never played here, but I knew this was a good golf course for me, too. Probably more excited about my game and the way I -- the future, what the future could hold for me.

Q. What's that golf cart of yours like?
KEVIN KISNER: It's pretty sweet. It's an E-Z-GO, custom seats with speakers in it, Bluetooth. It's a pretty sweet deal. Obviously I live in Aiken, which is right near Augusta and E-Z-GO is right there so they were nice enough to bring me a golf cart and let me pick it out and make it the way I wanted to, so it was pretty sweet.

Q. Will you have a number in mind for tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: No, I'll just try to birdie every hole. If you birdie every hole, you're not going to lose.

Q. Do you have a number on your cart?
KEVIN KISNER: No, no number on it. I don't have little spinners with TW in the middle (laughter).

Q. First-timers generally don't fare all that well here at THE PLAYERS. Are you surprised at all there's so many guys making their first start here that are at the top of the leaderboard?
KEVIN KISNER: No, these guys are good. In fact, we had a little surveys of the first-timers, who do you pick besides yourself to win, and I picked Ben Martin, so I'm looking pretty good between those two. No, man, everybody talks about pressure and nerves and all that, but we've been through it all. If we've gotten here, we've done Tour school, we've won tournaments. Just because it's a bigger stage doesn't mean we're going to suck all of a sudden. It's cool we all can play and we all know each other, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q. When you talk about the importance of getting off to a hot start because of how bunched it is, would you have to fight maybe not getting off to a hot start even though you're still not ahead of it?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, absolutely. I think if I don't tomorrow, I'll look at shooting 31 on Friday on the back nine to make the cut. You know, that's what's cool about the golf course. You get it in play, you can birdie any hole. It's not like there's certain holes you're wearing out 3-irons and 4-irons. You get it in play, you can hit 7-, 8-, 9-irons and make birdie. I didn't do that on 14, 15 and 16, I didn't make a birdie coming in. If you didn't do it on the front, then you know you can do it on the back.
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