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March 24, 2018

Kevin Kisner

Austin, Texas

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Kevin Kisner into the interview room. Kevin, just an outstanding afternoon for you, 8 & 6 over Ian Poulter. If we could get some comments on your watch.

KEVIN KISNER: Probably didn't see that one coming. I thought it was going to be a difficult match. Obviously Ian's match play record speaks for itself. I got off to a good start making a few birdies. He made a few mistakes, and I was able to capitalize on those. And things just snowballed from there.

Q. I'm sure you get excited about all the matches this week. But given his record, his reputation, did you get more jacked up over this one? And if so, why?
KEVIN KISNER: I was more jacked to beat Kuch, really. Kuch is such a good player and just game -- and our games are so similar. And I think we both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.

I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup.

Q. What's changed this week? You were talking yesterday, you hadn't played well. Was it one switch that flipped?
KEVIN KISNER: I wish it was one switch. A lot of range balls, a lot of time. I haven't been very confident throughout the bag all year. Sometimes you have to get a little worse before you get better. We're always trying to improve. And I'm not sure if I needed to.

It's starting to click now. I started seeing some stuff on Tuesday. I played nine holes with Daniel Berger and started seeing good stuff that I hadn't seen in a few weeks. That was starting to build the confidence there. And throughout the week I've gained a lot more confidence.

Q. What kept you sane throughout this whole thing?
KEVIN KISNER: Not much. Maybe beer.

Q. How bad did it get?
KEVIN KISNER: Not too bad. I get to go home to two kids every night that don't care what I shoot. So it's pretty cool. I've had a great few years on Tour and really enjoyed it. I know it's going to turn around, I've just got to keep plugging.

Q. What's your strategy on 13? Does it depend entirely on the state of the match or do you have an idea --
KEVIN KISNER: I hit 4-iron every day and had 40 yards or something. It just all depends on the shot you hit. If you hit it out to the right, you have a full wedge.

My strategy is where the hole location is, depending on how much spin I want to have in. If I don't want spin, I'm obviously trying to get closer to the green. And if I do want spin, I'm trying to lay back more.

Q. Your position in the match doesn't dictate at all?
KEVIN KISNER: No, it's not really an advantage for me to hit driver. Even if I hit a great one in the grandstand, I think my wedge game is good enough to do as well from the fairway as chipping from back there.

Q. Along those lines, No. 18 this morning, you won the match by laying up top and knocking it up there. And I'm surprised at the number of players that go for that green. What's your concept of why they do that?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, I've seen -- if it's pumping downwind, guys can actually get it on the green. Then I think it's worthwhile.

I just personally don't like the 40 yard blind wedge shot from down at the bottom. The only difficult thing is guys not knowing how far to hit it off that tee to layup. It's harder to lay up than it looks because the ball is chasing so far down the fairway. I hit a 4-iron today probably 255, 60 yards.

Q. You said you had one year struggling a little bit, did you figure out what was wrong?
KEVIN KISNER: I guess so, yeah, just a lot of work on the range and looking at old videos that I liked in my swing in the past and bringing those back out and trying to make sure that's where I am. And I wasn't there. So I've been working hard to get back to some stuff that we liked.

Q. I was looking at your driving distance numbers and you're averaging 277 for the season. I saw on the front nine in your last match 326, 350, 357. That's some big drives this week. Anything you can attribute that to? Is it the course and the wind?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, roll. You can hit low bullets here that roll forever. We don't get that -- at Pebble Beach the ball rolls a foot. So, yeah, it's just the course. I'm not gaining 30 yards overnight.

Q. Is it important this week, obviously Jason Day won two years ago, DJ last year, a few bombers still left in the mix here, how important is length potentially?
KEVIN KISNER: I think length helps on every course I've ever played in. Obviously you've still got to putt, though, and that's a big part of it.

DJ hit it 500 yards or something yesterday with me. I would like to be able to do that, but I'm not. I think length is always an advantage on every course we play.

Q. You made over 118 feet of putts in your match against Kuch. Anything in particular about these greens that really kind of fits your eye? Because everything you look at seems to be going in.
KEVIN KISNER: You know, I haven't liked the greens in the past couple of years. But I've learned more this year that you really have to pay attention to the grain. I grew up on grain, so I don't pay attention to it on most Bermudagrass. But here with the overseed, I think the grain almost plays a bigger influence than on normal Bermuda. It really affects the speed and into the grain, downgrain, and that also affects break.

Q. Are you more excited to be in contention or more excited to have your game going into what's two weeks from now?
KEVIN KISNER: That's tough. Probably my game. I'd love to be in contention, but where I was three weeks ago, to be here now, I'm pretty pumped about it.

JOHN BUSH: Kevin, best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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