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August 12, 2017

Kevin Kisner

Charlotte, North Carolina

JOHN DEVER: Good evening, everybody. Welcome back again to the 99th PGA Championship here at Quail Hollow Club. Pleased to be joined by Kevin Kisner.

Kevin put up a third round 72 today. He is leading the championship by one stroke at 7-under par. His round today included three birdies, a couple bogeys and a double on the 16th.

Kevin, maybe not the way you wanted to end the round today but you're still the 54-hole leader at a major championship, the PGA Championship. Your thoughts?

KEVIN KISNER: I'm happy I'm in the position I'm in. I had a chance to run away from guys and take people out of the tournament that were four or five, six back, and I didn't do it. Now I'm in a dogfight tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that. JOHN DEVER: What parts of your game were you pleased with and what do you want to shore up tomorrow?

KEVIN KISNER: I've been happy with the driver all week. I drove it really well, and then today I hit a lot of great putts that just burned edges and I thought the greens were more difficult to hold putts. Nobody in our group made hardly anything.

Obviously not many in the field did, with the scores, and hopefully tomorrow, they will all start falling.

Q. If someone had said to you even last week that you would be leading going into the final round of the PGA Championship, honestly, what would you have said to them?
KEVIN KISNER: I'd have been excited. I've seen my game trending, even though I haven't played great the last month and a half. But you know, I've been working hard and seeing a lot of good things, and I know the golf course.

I think that's really beneficial for me here, unlike other majors that we play once every five years or something. I really like that I know the golf course. I think it's going to be really helpful tomorrow.

Q. Would you say that golf course makes you play defensively, and if so, do you like that style of play?
KEVIN KISNER: I like to be aggressive. But sometimes I get a little too aggressive, like on 18. You have to play away from the hole on so many shots throughout the day, and then all of a sudden they give you a couple holes in a row on each side that you've got to attack.

KEVIN KISNER: So it's a difficult mind-set where you're almost holding on, holding on, and then you're like, oh, I've got to birdie, I've got to birdie. You've got to be ready to handle that situation and the change, and you've got to be able to take 30 feet and take your medicine. I think that's one of the biggest things out there.

Q. You made a scouting trip a few weeks ago here with Scott. Can you just talk about what was the most beneficial thing that you guys got out of that trip, and how you think that helps you this week?
KEVIN KISNER: I think just the new routing has helped us the most. You know, seeing 4 and 5; 1, obviously. The day we played, it was playing so long that it was just brutal to get any idea what we would be hitting in.

Knowing the places to be on certain hole locations, that's what I mostly did. I just hit shots and then went around the greens on the new ones and checked out where I wanted to be. I felt 4 and 5 were big holes for me to learn.

Q. A lot on the line today and the course is playing very difficult, but the round was a slow one out there. Did the pace of play, did that affect you and how you played today?
KEVIN KISNER: No, it was just the heat. I thought it was super hot. Standing around in 105 probably heat index is not a whole lot of fun. It's difficult on your mental game, I think as much as anything, as the heat. I'm pretty used to slow play; you watch us every week. (Laughter).

Q. Can you talk about what you saw from Jason Day on the final hole?
KEVIN KISNER: I didn't even know what he made. I wasn't keeping his score. I was pretty consumed with what the heck I was trying it do on the second shot. I had never seen a hole location short of a false front before. It's unfortunate. He played good coming in and then gave it all away, so that's tough.

Q. The ever-changing conditions here at Quail Hollow, hard and fast Thursday, Friday, until the rains, a little bit of drizzle early. Is that the biggest challenge you guys are facing is how far the ball is going to roll out, how the greens are going to hold? Is that the biggest adjustment you're having to make?
KEVIN KISNER: I think trying to pick a number on certain shots, and we notice the new greens are obviously firmer. 4 and 5 I think are firmer than 2 and 3, in my opinion.

From day-to-day, yesterday, like I said, the last hole my ball released 30 paces and first hole today it was right beside a pitchmark. Every day trying to figure that out, it takes four or five holes to get a feel for it.

Q. Seemed you were a little disappointed obviously walking off the green on 18. Can you comment on that, and also the birdie on 7, how difficult that was.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, 7, I got a little lucky. I pushed that 3-iron and it stayed up. So it wasn't that hard of a chip. Just had to pop something up and get it to chase up that hill. 18, I was disappointed in myself. I did no scouting on that location. I never thought they would put it there. I thought if I hit it out to the right of it, it would come ten yards off the green off that false front. So I tried to go right at it and I had to smash a 7-iron. I just over-hooked it. Just hindsight is 20/20, right. That was a stupid play. I could play from right there in the front and made four all day. But that puts a little fire in me for tomorrow, so I'm excited about that.

Q. I your college coach said one thing that struck him when you were at Georgia, you never showed a lot of emotion and were always consistent. Didn't know whether you were having a good day or a bad day. Today even when there were some bad moments, your emotions didn't seem to change a lot, at least externally. Have you always been like that or did you have to work at that?
KEVIN KISNER: I think I've been pretty good at that. This game will do it to you in my opinion. As soon as you think you're on top of things, it finds a way to kick you right in the face.

So there's no real reason for me getting mad or upset or showing y'all that I'm ticked off. I'm pretty good at keeping it all in, and you know, the golf course here is so hard; if you get pissed, you're just going to throw away more shots. There's no real reason to show that emotion.

I'll show plenty of emotion if I win tomorrow, don't worry.

Q. To that point, what would it mean to you to win your first major title?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, it's a dream to win a major. That's what I grew up practicing and playing, to play on the PGA TOUR and to have a chance in major championships. The way my game's progressed over my career, I like where I am, and I like having a chance tomorrow. It will be awesome to take home the Wanamaker Trophy and a lot of great names on that trophy.

Q. You said yesterday you like your buddies because they don't ask you about golf. Wonder if that conversation is maybe trending towards golf now?
KEVIN KISNER: I'm sure they are texting away on my phone right now in my pocket about golf. I'm sure a lot of them will be riding up here.

But you know, best part about all of them is when I go home, golf's over and that's what I love about them.

Q. You've been pretty vocal about your game plan all week. Is there anything that could cause you to change your game plan tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, I think any tournament on Sunday, you've got to look up with four or five holes to go and see where you stand. Obviously 16, 17, 18 at Quail Hollow are not the most attackable holes in the world. So I'd like to have a comfortable lead coming in there. But if you've got to make birdies, you're going to have to man up and hit some pretty awesome shots on those three holes to have a chance, and that's when I'll start looking ahead.

Q. Speaking of the Green Mile, how much more difficult is it playing this week than usually at Wells Fargo?
KEVIN KISNER: Probably a shot in my opinion. For some reason, 18's playing way longer. I think it's just the firmness of the fairways is not there. 16, normally if you chase one down there, you can hit a 6- or 7-iron in and I've been hitting four and five.

18, I've had 5-iron both days into until today, I had 7-iron to that front pin. I think the length is causing it. The last two days it was firmness of the greens, but today they were not as firm and I just think everybody is hitting longer clubs into it.

Q. Just to follow up on 18, you had a long wait there while Jason was taking a drop. How do you deal with that? What do you do to keep yourself going during that wait?
KEVIN KISNER: I was pretty perplexed with what I was going to do with that chip shot. It was the worst lie I had seen all week, downhill lie. I was just trying to do anything to get it over that creek. I wasn't too concerned with watching Jason. I was trying to figure out how the heck I could make five and get out of here. Don't want to be there tomorrow for sure.

JOHN DEVER: We'll leave it at that. Kevin, thank you, sir, for your time.

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