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May 28, 2017

Kevin Kisner

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the 2017 champion of the Dean & Deluca Invitational, Kevin Kisner. He wins for the second time on the PGA TOUR.

Kevin, I know of all the golf courses out there, this is one of your top probably two or three. Just get some comments on winning on Colonial and winning for the second time on tour.

KEVIN KISNER: It's definitely at the top of my list when I set a schedule, is Colonial. I love the golf course. It reminds me a ton of home. Really precision golf off the tee and into the greens.

I grew up on a course with small greens pushed up, and you got to hit your numbers and be in the right quadrant. That's what Colonial is all about, and I just love being here.

THE MODERATOR: I know Jordan greeted you out there a minute ago. Talk about holding off Jordan as well as a host of other players.

KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it's never easy for sure on this tour. Guys always seem to make birdies. I've been in this position a ton, and one thing I always take away is you just got to keep making birdies and basically look up when you can't make anymore.

Guys were making runs all around, I was making a little run, and just fortunate to come out on top.

THE MODERATOR: Kevin moves to No. 7 in the FedExCup standings. You have made it to the TOUR Championship the last two years. I know that's another huge goal of yours, and now you're in a really good position heading into the home stretch.

KEVIN KISNER: Well, our entire PGA TOUR season is around the FedExCup, so you can't win it if you're not at East Lake at the TOUR Championship. It's all a going No. 1 starting the season. You can't win it if you're not there.

To basically have it locked up this early in the year is just a dream of mine. I just look forward to going up there and getting as many points as I can before the playoffs start.

THE MODERATOR: Great. Questions?

Q. Stricker described you as a bulldog. I think he meant it as a compliment. Given the situation...
KEVIN KISNER: Or with my school. Which one.

Q. Either or. Given the situation you were in, especially coming down the 18th with Jon doing what he was doing, is that the best case scenario for you from a competitive point of view?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, that's what you dream about, is having a one-shot lead on the last hole. Jon was playing fantastic. He was hitting that driver on every hole 350 yards right down the middle, so I knew he was going to have a chance at birdie.

It was a tough tee shot for me. I had to fit a draw in there into that left-to-right wind. I knew if I had a chance it had to be on the right side. I just bailed it out a little bit on the right.

I was going to take my chances with a 4 and see what happened.

Q. It wasn't too long ago people were talking about your second place finishes. Now obviously your second win. How nice is it for you to kind of convert all those previous chances into victories now?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, you start questioning if you're going to win again after a while. So everybody was questioning if I was ever going to win. Then I win, and then everybody questions if I was ever going to win again.

So I knew the way I was playing I going to give myself a ton of chances to win. That's all you ever dream about, is having a chance coming down the last five holes. I've had that probably three or four times this year. It's always fun and you always handle it differently.

Today I was just having fun with it. I love the golf course and being in that position. I was just having a great time. Jon and I were cutting it up and having a good time. It was fun for me coming down the stretch.

Q. And that shot on 18, on 18 green, you ended up using putter. Did you consider at all trying to chip?
KEVIN KISNER: No, those surrounds are so difficult with that green. You got to be so precise and catch it perfectly straight downhill to the hole.

I knew with putter I was going to have no worse than ten feet for par. I've been putting well all week. I just wanted to give myself an opportunity. I left it in the perfect spot straight in, straight up the hill.

Q. You missed the cut the first time you played here. What did that teach you about the course and how to play it better? Been moving up the ladder since that time.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I think this is a place you have to learn. You got to know where to miss it is the big key around here. You get short-sighted at Colonial with the wind blowing, it's impossible get it up and down.

Greatest thing I learned in the years here is knowing what pins to attack and what pins to play on the fat side. Longest putt you'll have is 25 feet if you're pin high if you're on the green.

You don't always have to go flag hunting. When you have a 7-iron, 8-iron in the fairway, you can hit it 20 feet and still got a great look at birdie.

Q. You talked about your putter carrying you. I believe it was about a 40-footer you drained there at 10 to start a run. How much momentum did that give you, and you did you feed off that the whole back nine?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, that was huge, one you weren't expecting. It was a difficult putt, just to 2-putt. It fell in on the lost role. I was just trying to get the speed right.

I was fortunate Stewart Cink's mark was perfectly halfway to the hole, and I just had to miss his to the left to make it. I did it.

That kind of gets those juices flowing to lead you those last eight holes. I was able to hit two great iron shots on the next two, and that put me in the driver's seat.

Q. Are you much of a golf historian? Did you take time this week to go up and look at the Ben Hogan shrine?
KEVIN KISNER: I did not look at the Ben Hogan shrine, but to stand on that first tee and read all the names on that wall is pretty impressive. If you were a great in golf, you seem to have played well here.

Q. Obviously a win is great anywhere. What does it mean to you to win at such a unique course that you guys don't play very much, Hilton Head or here or something? To win on such a unique course like this, what does that mean to you?
KEVIN KISNER: Just the history of the club, and you mentioned Hilton Head. Those are my two favorite on the Tour. This is the kind of golf course that I dream about playing. My opinion, too many are getting too long, too big, and guys are having too much advantage with power.

The thing I love about Colonial is the precision game. You can tell the history is there when you just tee off. You can see they haven't changed the course. You go out and plot your way around. How many Tour events does 10-under par win? Not many.

The scores are obviously higher here than most weeks, and I think that's what incredible about this place.

Q. When the hometown guy is in contention and the gallery is obviously pulling for him, can you hear it? Does did affect you?
KEVIN KISNER: I thought they were pulling for me. (Laughter.)

No, Jordan is a good friend, a great player. I wish I had one in my hometown so I could have that type of support. Obviously you could hear the roars for him. I didn't know if that roar on 18 was for par or birdie, and then I was able to watch it on TV standing on 18 tee.

So he's a great kid. I love him. But I love beating him, too.

THE MODERATOR: 2017 champion, Kevin Kisner.

KEVIN KISNER: Thank you, guys.

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