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June 2, 2015

Kevin Kisner


MARK STEVENS:テつ Like to welcome Kevin Kisner.テつ Kevin, you're going to make your second start here at the Memorial.テつ Just getting here after some interesting travel delays, which you've had a few of this year, which is part of the game.テつ Talk about your thoughts coming into the week.テつ I know you had a week off after a pretty hot stretch.テつ Just your thoughts on coming into this week and go from there.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, it's always great to be back in Mr. Nicklaus' place.テつ It's a cool thing, walk right in the locker room, the first guy I see is Mr. Nicklaus, say hello.テつ That doesn't happen every week.テつ It kind of ads to the aura of how cool this place is.テつ It's such a sweet golf course, a sweet venue, small field makes it feel a little more special.テつ So always cool to come back up here.
I wasn't prepared for the 58 degrees or whatever it is, may be in the market for another jacket, like I did at Colonial on Thursday.
Excited to get going.テつ I haven't played any of the golf course.テつ Just pulled into town, so I'm going to go play nine this afternoon.

Q.テつ Did Jack say anything to you?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I just said, "Thanks for having us."テつ He was talking to Justin Thomas, actually.テつ So I interrupted.テつ He just said, "Thanks for being here."テつ I'm sure we'll have more conversations in the dining room this week.

Q.テつ When you come off a hot stretch like you've been on, what do you do in your off weeks to try to maintain that momentum?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Probably all the things that you do on a regular week that I haven't done for a month, like email and trash, laundry, baby and see friends.テつ And then it's Sunday and it's time to repack and come back.
I'm starting to learn you probably need two weeks off to do all that stuff in one week and then enjoy the week at home.テつ It was a pretty busy week.
We were trying to get up here last night, travel delays, and ended up getting here today.テつ So the week is off to a good start and we're going to get going today.

Q.テつ What were the delays?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I was trying to get out of Augusta yesterday afternoon, weather in Atlanta, no connection, no seats.

Q.テつ Did you say I'm Kevin Kisner?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Didn't work this time.テつ When that works, I might be able to fly private up here.

Q.テつ And Bay Hill, refresh me on that one, that was another weird one?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I got in at 6:00 Wednesday night and my buddy flew me down there a single engine Bonanza, got in at 8:00 at night and teed off at 7:00 a.m.テつ That was fun, though.

Q.テつ Pinehurst, wife had baby on Monday?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Monday.テつ Got there Wednesday afternoon, played 12 holes, teed off Thursday morning, first off, I think, Thursday morning, 6:50.

Q.テつ I think your last off this week is what they're saying?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ As long as I have one.

Q.テつ As well as you've been playing, especially from Hilton Head on, it kind of eases the question of‑‑ because you had a good college career and a lot of your peers think highly of you, etcetera.テつ What took this long?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I don't know.テつ Probably‑‑ it's kind of like how my career progressed.テつ Each year I played on each Tour, I got better.テつ Or as the year progressed on the Web.com, I got better.テつ The more I played Mini Tours, I got better.テつ That's how my career path has always gone.テつ The more experience, the better I seem to do.
It's like once my confidence gets to the right point then I free it up and go play like I'm supposed to.テつ Hopefully I'm just scratching the surface and we can keep going from here.

Q.テつ How long have you been with John?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ A year and a half, almost two years.テつ I think in August, it will be two years.テつ The year is flying by.

Q.テつ What has that done for you?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ It's totally changed my game.テつ Couldn't break 150 in driving it or greens in regulation, and I think I'm top 50 in both this year.テつ That makes this game a lot easier.テつ A lot of guys put a lot of emphasis on putting and chipping, which obviously we all want to be great putters.テつ But the golf course we play on this Tour now, still ball‑striking is a huge deal.

Q.テつ Just a question about how your life has changed this year with your success.テつ The way people maybe recognize you more easily, recognize your name.テつ They saw you at The PLAYERS and saw what you did.テつ I just wonder how that's affected you.テつ How have you adjusted to that?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ It's been so quick, I don't know if I've made an adjustment.テつ But it sure is more fun to play when people actually yell "Kis" instead of Phil or Adam or whatever I'm playing with.
Last year, on Sunday, I played with Phil in Charlotte and it was overwhelmingly "Phil."テつ This year I played with Adam and Henrik, and I actually got to hear some "Kises," and for once, I was like, yeah, that's me.

Q.テつ Watched any Georgia and NCAA?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, I've been watching on my phone on the way up here.テつ I saw they won this morning.テつ Playing LSU this afternoon.テつ That's been a weird year for that team, won probably four times, and I think they finished last in a couple of tournaments.テつ Who knows, maybe that‑‑ I think Hacker called them schizophrenic night, so maybe the good schizophrenic shows up this weekend.

Q.テつ How often do you talk to him?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ We talk a lot.テつ He and Jim both called me on a conference call Sunday night after the PLAYERS and giving me all kinds of grief about whiffing the kiss with my wife.テつ That's all they wanted to talk about.テつ I don't know if any of y'all saw that, but I kissed my baby, and then whiffed my wife and then kissed my mother.テつ You all can write about that now and get me in more trouble (laughter).

Q.テつ Kevin, do the expectations considering what you've done this season change on a personal note for you and how do you address those?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Well, the goal at the start of the year was always to win.テつ I've given myself that chance, but I haven't succeeded with the first goal.テつ I tee it up every week trying to win.テつ I obviously learned that Thursday counts as much as Sunday, so we need to hit the ground running right off the first tee on Thursday.

Q.テつ You said each Tour you go to, you learn a little bit and get a little better.テつ You played here last year, so what did you learn last year, and how are you going to put it in play?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Some of the holes that he does out here are so visually intimidating, but as I played ‑‑ I played all four rounds last year, and I learned that guys are a little more aggressive than probably I was playing on certain holes.
The bailouts are just death on the hard holes, like 12, if you miss short in the water left, dead, you're going to chip it in the water.テつ You might as well just stand up there and hit good shots on the holes that he's asking you.テつ And he gives you lots of chances to make birdies.テつ If you par the hard holes, you've got plenty of birdie chances.

Q.テつ This almost seems like two U.S. Open qualifiers in one?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I never thought 5th place at Colonial was going to only move me up two spots.テつ In fact, I already planned on being in Sunday night.テつ I didn't find out until Monday traveling home.テつ I have no idea how in the world it works, nor do I care, I'm just going to keep playing.テつ I moved up more with a 38th place in Charlotte than a 5th at Colonial, so explain that.テつ We'll just keep grinding to see what happens.テつ I wouldn't mind two weeks off, anyway.

Q.テつ Whatever happens this week, if you wound up say 57th or 58th, what do you do Monday?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I'll probably go home.テつ 36 holes a day is about over for me.テつ I would say 57th probably‑‑ I don't know where they're playing in Europe.テつ If you're playing in Europe and they're giving them points again, I'll probably get passed again.テつ I think a point and a half for Colonial and Wentworth, so I don't know where they're playing that week.
I'd rather not have to play on Monday.テつ If I just win on Sunday‑‑ or like I said at PLAYERS, if I just birdie ever hole to Sunday I probably would get in the U.S. Open.

Q.テつ Maybe.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Probably so.

Q.テつ Is that your first one last year?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yes, first U.S. Open.

Q.テつ Do you remember how old you were when you first tried to qualify?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I played in a junior when I was 14 out in Oregon, a U.S. Junior.テつ Are you asking just U.S. Open?

Q.テつ U.S. Open.
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I have no idea, probably in college.

Q.テつ You didn't try it in high school or anything?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I don't recall.テつ I played amateurs, I think.テつ What good would it do to play it in college?テつ You can't win any money.

Q.テつ For the good of the game?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Get beat up for free.

Q.テつ You talked about birdieing them all and winning on Sunday, would it be more pressure to have a clip for Mr. Nicklaus at 18 or was it harder to play with Sergio and Rickie down at the TPC?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Man, when you're at that point, I don't really care who you're playing with, it's all about you trying to win.テつ I would love to see Mr. Nicklaus on 18 probably more than I would like to see Sergio or Rickie with me on the tee at 18.テつ Whatever happens, happens.テつ I'll deal with whatever comes, and hopefully make birdie on every hole.

Q.テつ Do you watch much highlights of Sawgrass?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ I have.テつ I watched the putt was the first time I saw it in Charlotte.テつ I did a Sky Sports interview.テつ It actually didn't look as close on the video as I was expecting it to.

Q.テつ The putt on 18?
KEVIN KISNER:テつ Yeah, in regulation, sorry.テつ It looked like it was dead center from my angle.テつ But the day I saw it, it looked like it was going to miss right.テつ So who knows?テつ It will go in one day.テつ If not, I can load bags, because I'm really good at that (laughter).
MARK STEVENS:テつ Thanks for your time, Kevin.テつ Good luck in week.

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