April 13, 2021
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
Harbour Town Golf Links
HALEY PETERSON: We'd like to welcome Kevin Kisner here to the RBC Heritage and the virtual media room. Thanks for joining us. As a South Carolina native, a place that's fond to you. You're making another comeback here, your ninth start here at the event. Just some thoughts on being back here this week.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, obviously being from South Carolina I love this event. I always feel like it's my home state event. Always a great crowd here at the RBC Heritage and we have a great of lot great people, great venue, and a really relaxing week after coming out of the Masters.
HALEY PETERSON: Coming off last week, can you talk about the state of your game coming into this week?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, I'm pretty ticked off about my game. I feel like I'm playing well, not getting results, so I'm looking forward to playing the golf courses here in the next stretch that I really enjoy playing and hopefully start to see some more positive results.
HALEY PETERSON: Can you talk about the course? You've played here; what are the different conditions you're facing here this week?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it's already pretty firm and the greens are quick. It's going to be a great week. If we don't get a lot of rain, I think they can progress the conditions to playing more difficult than we've seen in years past, and if we get a little bit of sea breeze, I think it'll be a really stern test with the conditions that I saw today.
Q. Do you want to tell me what's going on with what you were doing on the putting green?
KEVIN KISNER: I was just waving to people, all the people I saw. No, I was trying out the arm lock. I figured I've been putting pretty poorly, one of the best parts of my game, not starting on line last week. I just wanted to see a different look, try it out, and I like it. I think it's really good inside 10 feet. I've just got to get used to the speed. I'll see how it goes tomorrow in the pro-am and see if I'll try it on Thursday.
Q. How concerning is it to make a change? You're one of the best putters in the world and you're going to make a change. How disconcerting is that?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, more concerning is how poorly I've been putting this year. I've got to start seeing some putts going in the hole. My biggest problem is I've normally been one of the best inside eight feet, and this year I'm not making it so I can't keep the momentum of the round going when I miss a green, and then if I stuff an iron shot and miss the putt it's really putting a drag on the whole game. If I can see this way starting on line and hitting more solid putts more consistently I think it can help overall, but it's still just a trial as of now.
Q. You mentioned being from South Carolina, this being your home event. I was wondering how excited you are about this being the first of three TOUR events and how exciting that is for you and all the players from South Carolina.
KEVIN KISNER: Well, obviously I think it's great to showcase our state. I think it's going to be a great thing for our entire state to not only see the revenue dollars from the TOUR coming in but to showcase our state. It's going to really help on my airfare bills for the year that I get to drive to multiple tournaments, and I'm excited. I'm excited for guys to see what Kiawah has -- we've been there before, but Kiawah has to offer, and then I'm really excited about Congaree. I'm a professional ambassador there, so one of my favorite places to go practice, and I think guys are going to love it down there, as well.
Q. With all of those events being what you would call in the Lowcountry, would there be any advantage to players who are familiar with the types of grass, perhaps accustomed to playing in heat and humidity, anything that South Carolinians might have an advantage because of?
KEVIN KISNER: I think guys are going to be in for rude awakening at Congaree in June, how hot and the sand gnats that will be on full-on attack down there. Hopefully we can steer clear of the afternoon thunderstorm that is regularly predictable that time of year and have some really great conditions for golf and hopefully steer away from 110-degree heat indexes.
Q. From one person in his late 30s to another, what is different right now about your mindset, what you want from your career and maybe just thoughts on being a professional golfer in life? What's different now than it would have been when you were maybe 25?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, I think first of all, time is a lot different. I used to wake up every day and spend the whole day at the golf course now with the family and three kids, the time frame that I'm able to practice is a lot different. I still want to be a dad and want to be a great family man, but you've still got to put the time in. I consider it my job, so it's a balancing act between those two makes the time a lot more difficult.
I still want to win. I still know I can win and compete, and I feel like I'm playing -- I've improved every aspect of my game over my career, but I think also the athletes that are coming out and playing on the PGA TOUR are now more prepared and ready to win at a faster pace than they were when I first got out here.
All that being said, mid to late 30s I still want to play on Ryder Cup teams, Presidents Cup teams. I want to compete in major championships and win regular TOUR events. I'm not sure if anything has changed; I'm just in a different place in life where you've got to have a little more balance.
Q. A lot less deep, coming off Augusta, is there a sense of being more relaxed? Is this tournament like -- is there kind of a comedown in a way, more of a relaxed vibe?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, totally relaxed vibe, and obviously I didn't play the weekend last weekend, but if I would have, it would be a total chill week. But after being in a position I thought I was playing well and not performing, I'm down here on full-on grind to try to compete at a tournament I feel like I can win.
There's less of those on the PGA TOUR schedule now than there used to be, and this is a definitely a highlight of mine for the year.
Q. How did you get over missing the cut at the Masters? What did you do Saturday and Sunday? I know you said you're still ticked, but how does one get over it?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, I spent the day with my family on Saturday and then right back to playing golf. Played 27 holes at palmetto on Sunday, drove down here and started working on the putting yesterday afternoon. So right back to the grind to get over it. The putter I used on Friday didn't quite make it down here, so had to come shopping.
Q. I was just wondering if it makes a difference to you playing before fans or not.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, obviously we are so accustomed to playing with fans and can rely on them for energy and enthusiasm, adrenaline, all those things I think help, and probably some added pressure coming down the stretch. When we had zero fans it felt more like a Saturday afternoon at your club with your buddies playing in a tournament, and now that we have very few fans, it's almost oddly loud at the wrong times.
I'm all for getting as many fans as we can back and having that constant buzz around the places that we're playing. I think it's easier when there's either more noise or no noise, and we're kind of at an in-between stage right now.
Q. You were runner-up here in 2015. How important would it be for you to win in South Carolina?
KEVIN KISNER: Well, yeah. I would love to win basically my state's only TOUR event. Obviously we're adding one this year, but this is a special place to me. A lot of great people that I know and love and care about help run this event, and I think it would be a really big deal to add to my career, a jacket from here.
HALEY PETERSON: That's all the questions we have. Thank you, Kevin, for taking the time to join us. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports