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January 8, 2016

Kevin Kisner

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Kevin Kisner to the interview room here at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions you are 12-under par through two rounds. Current FedExCup leader, obviously you've been playing pretty well in the early part of this season. Talk about your round today and the state of your game.

KEVIN KISNER: I played solid all day. I gave myself a lot of chances early. I left a few out there with some shorties that I missed coming in, but it was a good day.

First tournament of the year, kind of rusty, haven't played in a while, and seeing where my game is and looking forward to having a chance on the weekend.

THE MODERATOR: Great. Questions?

Q. Your first time playing here, can you compare it to anything else? Augusta is the one I hear most often. But the lies that you end up getting and how you have to approach them?
KEVIN KISNER: It's a totally unique golf course as far as -- I don't know how an Amateur would play it that well, because a bad shot is so penal with all these forced carries.

And even like 18 right there, if I don't hit a 3-wood good I'm in the junk trying to lay up. And it's just a unique place, but it's really cool to see. It's not the coolest place it walk in the world, but.

(Laughter.) It's fun to play and it's cool to hit a bunch of different shots and see. I played with Bubba today and it's two totally different golf courses than what I play. So it's cool to see different ways to play it.

Q. As a Bermuda guy, how does the southern man, how does the grain stack up?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't see it that bad on the greens as much as I do, like hitting wedges from the fairway.

I have a hard time -- I can't figure out if I need to be more shallow or steeper or -- hopefully my coach is watching and he can tell me tonight.

I really haven't hit my wedges that great. Because I'm not sure of the contact. But I see it more out of the fairways than the greens. I grew up on this greens, so I don't read grain or anything like you hear all these guys talk about. I just look at it and putt.

Q. You mentioned not playing in a while. And yet in some ways do you feel like the sensation of how you have been playing and your win and so forth, does that feel a little similar? You've been playing so well.
KEVIN KISNER: We didn't have a big off season game plan of trying to change much like we had in the last couple years. Trying to maintain and keep working on the things we have been working on. So it wasn't like a huge grind in the off season to go work on things. It was just more of a stay with the feel of the swing and I worked a lot on my putting in the off season to keep trying to improve on that. Putt like Jordan.

Q. How much time exactly did you take off, like a week? Some days?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't think I ever took like an extended 10 days off or anything. But a lot of three-day weeks of just hitting maybe on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or something. Play odd days. I never took a long, extended --I don't have that much time. My last tournament was just after, or right before Thanksgiving. And then we were living at Sea Island and it was 80 degrees every day, so it's hard to -- there's not much else to do down there besides play golf.

Q. You were in the hunt a lot at least since Heritage. Do you feel like you still fly under the radar a bit and do you like that?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't care either way. I'll fly however y'all want me to, as long as I can win.


Q. You get recreational players go to TPC Sawgrass, they spend the whole round thinking about 17. In that regard, I'm wondering if you fall into a trap of spending these first three months on TOUR thinking ahead to April.
KEVIN KISNER: I don't think so. I've learned so much that you'll get run over so fast on this TOUR if you're not in it a hundred percent. That, obviously, I've already planned my preparation for Augusta. I know what I'm going to practice and go and prepare there. So I think that kind of takes it off of my mind. I know that I'm going to go for a few days in February and I'm going to go the week before. And so I just -- when that week comes, that's when I'll get into the Augusta mode.

Q. What's the rest of your West Coast Swing schedule?
KEVIN KISNER: Next week and Phoenix.

Q. (No Microphone.)

Q. Is that almost a relief off your back after starting on the West Coast early in your career?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah. I think I made two cuts in my career on the West Coast before -- I mean, obviously, last year I made it in Hawaii and MDF and then I don't think I had another one. I made it in Pebble one year.

Q. (No Microphone.)
KEVIN KISNER: Hopefully so. So there's no reason to go. I don't have to do it anymore, so I don't need to beat my head against the wall trying to beat these guys on courses I know I can't.

Q. What's it going to take this weekend to win and make sure you're back here next year?
KEVIN KISNER: What is Jordan at? I saw he was at 15 last I saw. So it he'll probably shoot another 15, so I better get going tomorrow. The way he plays. I don't know. We'll just make a bunch of birdies and see what happens.

Q. I was just wondering, you were saying not the coolest place to take a walk, so just the difficulty I guess walking this course and how big it is?
KEVIN KISNER: Actually wasn't as bad as I anticipated. When I was riding in the cart in the practice rounds I was thinking this is going to be brutal. But we get rides on the really difficult ones. And once you get that adrenaline rolling and you're ready to go, it doesn't -- like 12 green to 16 tee gets a little rough by the time you get to 16 tee, but then you get to coast it home. So it gives you a little easy finish.

Q. I was talking to Duane, your caddie, just saying you guys, I think, you guys prepared a little bit for it just --
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, we did. We -- I walked a few of them. I walked up 4 in the practice round which is dumb because you get a cart ride. And I was thinking this is a par hole when I got up there because I don't care how close you have it, I was dying when I got up to 4. We get a cart ride up that one.

Q. What intimidates you?
KEVIN KISNER: Not much. Snakes, maybe. Having to go to the war, maybe? That would be the only things.

Q. Curious, whether it was junior days, whether it was your first year on TOUR, when you were hitting it sideways?
KEVIN KISNER: Hitting block cuts and out of bounds right intimidates me, when I used to do that a lot. But not much right now.

Q. Anything ever?
KEVIN KISNER: Nah. I haven't really ever had that issue.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks for your time, Kevin.

KEVIN KISNER: All right. Thank you.

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