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July 20, 2018

Kevin Kisner

Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

STUART MOFFATT: I'm delighted to welcome Kevin Kisner back to the interview room. Kevin's currently tied for the lead at 6-under par.

Kevin, a solid 1-under par round of 70 today. Could you just give us your thoughts on your second-round performance.

KEVIN KISNER: I got off to the start I wanted to, a couple under through 7. Got a little greedy on the 8th, made bogey. Got it to where I wanted to be and obviously made double on the last hole. Didn't think I would hit that in the burn with an 8 iron but just didn't come out the way I saw it.

Hit a lot of great putts coming down the stretch. Probably could have made two or three more, but they all lipped out. I love where my putter is and love my position going into the weekend.

Q. What yardage did you have, and how did you think it was going to come out?
KEVIN KISNER: 18, I had 160. So I only had 150 to carry the burn. With an 8 iron thinking it would come out pretty quickly. Just making sure it wouldn't turn my club over to the left. But it just came out like high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened. You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.

Q. Kevin, on a golf course that's this difficult, do you kind of resign yourself to you're going to have holes like that? Does it make it easier to move on?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, for sure. I mean, to play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good. I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Looking back, you could hit a sand wedge and a sand wedge and have a good look at 4. The way it was sitting, I didn't think it was an issue to get it in one of the bunkers and have a good chance at 4 either.

Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.

Q. You mentioned you're putting a lot the last couple of days. How do you feel about your game tee to green? I know you said at the Greenbrier that you really started to find some form. Do you think you have enough for the next two days?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I seen -- Greenbrier, I hit it great in competition. Here I've been hitting it great on the range, not as solid on the golf course. I've hit a lot of great shots on the course, but it's not quite in the zone of repetition on the course like it is the range. Just going to keep working on those things on the range, and it will start to click more on the golf course.

It's just difficult trying to hit a lot of these blind approach shots with winds, crosswinds, trying to hit it so far from the hole to get it close to the hole, it's just difficult. And that's what makes The Open great.

Q. Kevin, with the way that burn winds there on 18, is it just especially difficult to figure out what the right option is?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, you know, you can hit a sand wedge out, and it could roll 30 yards right into it too. So I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the burn, to tell you the truth. I play from the fairway every day. When they said he had 150 yards to carry it, the 8 iron in the lie was pretty good. So 180 yards to the hole. I figured, if I got over the burn, there was no way -- it would maybe run over, but it would not be that difficult.

The way it winds, I haven't really paid attention to it. Obviously, it winds more to the right because that's where my ball went in. If I'd have gone left, though, I'd have gone out of bounds and had to figure it all out again. It is part of the game. I hit the tee ball like I wanted to. I kicked dead left over there. If it stays somewhat straighter, I'd probably hit it in the middle of the green and have a chance to make birdie.

Q. Is there a different mindset when you're playing in a major and especially when you're sleeping on the lead?
KEVIN KISNER: I just think the focus probably intensifies on the golf course. You can get caught in the repetition of the PGA TOUR or any tour playing week to week and know there's always next week, but as the majors come about, you've put a lot of prep into your year to get ready for these, and I think you really want to be concentrated and what you want to be focused on when it comes to these tournaments.

Q. (No microphone).
KEVIN KISNER: I sleep pretty good at night. I'm always anxious when I wake up. It doesn't affect my sleep a whole lot. I got two kids that keep me up at home, so I like to sleep.

Q. Kevin, what was your thought just coming into the week on how to play this course? You've seen guys use a whole range of strategies off the tee. Did you think you had to adapt that at all today, or did you stay pretty consistent with it?
KEVIN KISNER: I thought today was the biggest adaptation for the whole week. Obviously, today we had to get used to it, but it played way softer off the tee today, and we hit way more club than we did all week off the tee. Ball wasn't chasing 30 yards or 40 yards like it had been.

I don't know, the golf course fits my eye. Everybody told me before I came that I'd love it, and I do love it before I got here. I'm looking forward to keeping the ball in play and getting it around the green and making as many birdies as I can.

Q. What was your biggest take-away from Quail Hollow last year in terms of how you carried yourself, managed yourself over four rounds? And does that come into play and help you at all this week?
KEVIN KISNER: Definitely be helpful. I've been in that position a ton in my life, not only -- I think you guys put more into the majors than we do. We're trying to win a golf tournament. Obviously, it's a major, we love it. We put a lot of work into it. But just because it's a major, I'm not going to feel any different coming down the stretch than I do trying to win any other tournament, I don't think.

In the PGA, I kind of made bogeys in the middle of the round and came back with birdies to get back into having a chance and hit a poor shot on 16. What are you going to do? You can't beat yourself up over hitting a poor shot. I don't think I mismanaged the way I played. Things happen for a reason, and hopefully I'll have another chance to prove that I can do it here.

Q. Did it feel any differently over the last two hours of the PGA than it did at, say, Colonial?
KEVIN KISNER: At Colonial? I think the pressure is the same. You got great players all breathing down your throat hitting great shots. You're required to stand there and step up and hit the shots when it's your turn. So maybe at the PGA you're hitting 4 irons instead of 9 irons, which is a big difference.

Q. Kevin, were you aware of your two-shot lead when you went to the 18th tee? And did that have any impact on the club that you chose?

Q. Yeah.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, there's scoreboards everywhere. I saw it a lot.

Q. It didn't persuade you to gun down to an iron up at 18?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't really know where to hit an iron off that tee really. It's like 270 yards to carry the burn up the right, so that's a driver for me. It's been a driver every time I stepped on, and it will be a driver unless I have a three-shot lead on Sunday. But I'm not sure where I'd hit it except maybe down 17 fairway or something. I'd take it where I drove it today with a three-shot lead. I'd probably play it a little differently, though.

Q. Is there something you've learned from your first three appearances in links tournaments that's paying off this week, or you just happen to be playing better?
KEVIN KISNER: Getting the good side of the wave is a big part of it. I've been on the bad side at St. Andrews and Troon. Last year I really liked the golf course. I just didn't play great. But I do think experience helps, for sure. That's the first four times I ever played over here.

Getting more comfortable and understanding the nuances of it, I feel really comfortable here knowing where the ball needs to land, and that's all we're working off of. The rest of it, I can't control.

Q. Is there something you're working on with your swing you're having trouble bringing to the course?
KEVIN KISNER: It's the same old tendencies for five years, and I know it. I'm hitting the ball fine. It's not like I'm struggling with my ball striking. I'm just not repeating it as much as I want to.

Q. Kevin, when you were a kid, were there majors that you thought about that you'd make a putt for something, whether U.S. Open or British Open?
KEVIN KISNER: Where I grew up, Augusta was such a big deal, and the Masters was such a huge part of my life. It was probably the biggest part of our junior golf was thinking about Augusta. But I always say that the other one was the British Open because it came on in the morning, and I thought I was so cool that I could wake up and watch golf.

So I don't know if I put one ahead of the other, but I can tell you Augusta was the highest on our scale of growing up because of how close we were in proximity. I'll take any of them, to tell you the truth.

Q. Kevin, when you get home tonight, do you think you and Zach will talk about tomorrow at all? Do you think you'll talk about anything but golf? How do you think the dynamic will be tonight?
KEVIN KISNER: Golf will probably be the tune. Everybody will tell their horror stories and good stories, and we'll laugh and eat a big old meal and sit around and watch something stupid on . Who knows tonight? We watch the Russian doping one the other night. That was pretty good. Icarus or something.

Q. Icarus.
KEVIN KISNER: There you go. That's a cool one.

Q. Kevin, do you learn anything in that house that may help you ultimately win a major championship?
KEVIN KISNER: No. I learned that everybody's going through the same stuff and trying to shoot the lowest score possible, and everybody puts their pants on the same way I do. So they just won a few more times than I have and probably got a couple more zeros in their bank account.

Q. How exactly do you put your pants on?
KEVIN KISNER: I think left foot first, but I'm not sure.

Q. Kevin, you talked about the changing conditions from earlier in the week. Can you give me an example of maybe a tee box where you were playing an iron versus where you're playing a driver today and how much --
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, No. 1, I hit 5 iron yesterday and hit 3 wood today. Hit the same club as approach. That's pretty dramatic difference in distance. And I think the tee was even further back today. So 5 iron went as far as my 3 wood.

What other holes? 9, I hit a 3 wood instead of a 4 iron to the same distance. A lot of that today.

Q. How much of the Pete Cowen stuff has taken hold? Or is that something for down the road?
KEVIN KISNER: Probably down the road. I'm trying like hell out there out of the bunkers, but I don't know if I'm doing exactly what he wants me to do. Probably not. We'll see. I think Pete's great, and I respect the heck out of him, and I appreciate him offering to help me on Tuesday.

Q. Has anything of the last two days surprised you?
KEVIN KISNER: That's a good question. I don't think so. I think the surprising part is the little amount of wind that we've played over here. Haven't really had that 20-mile-an-hour heavy Scottish wind that we normally have off the sea that really throws your ball in crazy places.

And I think that's to come over the weekend.

Q. Hi. It's nice being in a house with a group of friends, but are there any subjects, because you're all actually trying to beat each other, that are actually off-limits, that you won't talk about?
KEVIN KISNER: Absolutely not. No. The range of topics are vast.

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