June 9, 2021
Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA
Congaree Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Kevin Kisner into the interview room at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. Kevin, just to start, could we get a little background on your familiarity with this golf course.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, for sure. I live about an hour and a half away. I've been fortunate enough to be asked to be an ambassador here at Congaree. It's a fantastic place to come and practice and work on my game. For me, they have an awesome practice facility, and the golf course is topnotch.
The hospitality and the service they provide to all ambassadors and the PGA TOUR has been topnotch. So I think we're all fortunate to be here.
THE MODERATOR: In terms of the competition, you heard a lot of people say this week that this is going to play different than maybe what you guys see week in and week out on TOUR. Could you elaborate on that a little bit, if you agree with that.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I think the golf course is designed to play firm and fast. Unfortunately, we've had a lot of rain, which is common in the South in June. They're hoping to miss these storms today and tomorrow and let the golf course continue to firm up. You'll see a variety of shots from around the greens with no rough and run-offs into collection areas. Guys can putt it, chip it, or use bump and runs, kind of like you see links style in Scotland or England. I'm looking forward to seeing how guys attack it.
THE MODERATOR: Three wins for you, Kevin, on the PGA TOUR, including one in nearby Sea Island, Georgia, but what would a win in your home state of South Carolina mean to you?
KEVIN KISNER: That would be awesome. I always wanted to be the first one to win Harbour Town, and Wesley Bryan snuck in and got me on that one. We've got another chance this week, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to have a chance to win.
Q. What do you like this about this golf course? You said you're looking forward to seeing how people attack it. How will you attack 2?
KEVIN KISNER: I'm going to be aggressive off the tee. I think it's an advantage for me that I hit it straight, that I can push forward off the tee, where some guys may lay back with trouble surrounding.
Everybody thinks that a tight, narrow course with a lot of rough is better for straight hitters. In reality, I think places like this where I hardly ever miss a fairway is a good opportunity for me too. I'm looking forward to attacking the holes where I have short irons and then playing for par on the difficult holes. I think the idea of making less bogeys is a good idea around this golf course.
Q. I know you're a pretty happy-go-lucky dude, but how have you been handling the recent struggles? How are you getting through it?
KEVIN KISNER: I see good signs. I'm seeing things that are going better in practice. I feel like I'm better. I just haven't had one of those weeks that click and get things rolling. So I'm playing in the next four events and looking forward to getting on a hot streak and rounding out the summer to finish the FedExCup.
Q. Anything you're more disappointed in, anything else that's a part of your game?
KEVIN KISNER: Putting has not been on par for me this year, and that leads into being more aggressive with your iron shots trying to get it closer to the hole where you make bone headed mistakes, which I've done a few times.
You live and you learn. I took five weeks off for the birth of my child, and it's just been a slow start getting back into it.
Q. When you look at this scorecard, it looks like a pretty long course out there, playing almost 7,700 yards. Do you think it's going to play that long this week? And then also, what do you think is sort of the major defense of this golf course?
KEVIN KISNER: I don't think it's going to play that long if we don't get much more significant rain because the golf course is built on sand and it drains extremely well and the surface is firm.
The idea of how it's designed is for the ball to be on the ground and running into places you don't really want it to if you're not controlling the golf ball. I think the biggest defense of the golf course is the green complexes and the surrounds. If it gets firm enough, you can touch the green probably 12 or 15 times with your approach shot and not end up on the green but half the time.
Having the correct curve and really big on distance control, I think, is going to be a big key going into the greens.
Q. How about the greens themselves? They don't look like they have a ton of slope on there. Are they rolling pretty true? Are they grainy? What are you seeing right now?
KEVIN KISNER: No, they're not grainy at all, but they are slower than I'm accustomed to when I come down here and practice. I think the TOUR has slowed them down a little bit for our hole locations that we normally use, and the rain's obviously affected some of the speed.
I'm thinking they're going to speed up dramatically from here through Sunday as the weather gets better.
Q. You're an ambassador with the Congaree Foundation?
KEVIN KISNER: Yes, sir.
Q. Can you tell me about -- one, I want to put a number. How many times do you think you've played the course, and what kinds of things have you been able to do with the foundation, and what kind of special experiences have you had?
KEVIN KISNER: I've been down here four different times to play, have brought friends and buddies, and I actually came here with Commissioner Jay Monahan one time to hang out and play.
As far as the foundation, what I do for the Congaree Foundation, is through my foundation in Aiken, South Carolina, the Kisner Foundation, we recommend a child in our area that we feel is worthy of coming down to participate in their foundation schooling that they have throughout the summer, and that's kind of our contribution to helping their foundation.
Q. As a Georgia Bulldog, can you been able to talk to the newer guys like Davis Thompson, and giving them any kind of advice about playing on TOUR?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I had breakfast with him yesterday, and I was asking him for advice. He's playing better than I am right now, so I was hoping he could help me.
These kids are so prepared to play the PGA TOUR now. They walk around with their protein shakes and TrackMans, and they're ready to hit it 350 yards. I don't think they need any advice.
Q. Did he ask you anything in particular?
KEVIN KISNER: No, he didn't. We were just cutting up, talking about Georgia.
Q. All good, though?
KEVIN KISNER: Yes, sir.
Q. Go back with me a little bit, junior golf days with Dustin. Did you all play four ball together?
KEVIN KISNER: Oh, yeah, every year.
Q. What other experiences did you have on the junior trail?
KEVIN KISNER: We played all the tournaments together and traveled together. A lot of times he would travel with my family or my mother, whoever was taking me, we'd stop in Columbia and pick him up on the way to tournaments. We had a lot of fun even in high school golf playing against each other and all the high school tournaments throughout the spring.
Tried like heck to get him to transfer from Coastal Carolina to come to Georgia, and that would have been something special too.
Q. Have you been paired with him on the TOUR any?
KEVIN KISNER: Oh, a ton, yes, sir. We've been paired a bunch together.
Q. A good pairing for you?
KEVIN KISNER: Yes, sir, I have a good time. I still laugh at him 25 years later, so it's still a good pairing.
Q. You got any good stories from back in the day?
KEVIN KISNER: Oh, yeah, I've told the story about me beating him on the last hole many times, so I'm sure you could find that one pretty easy.
Q. The one out of the woods?
KEVIN KISNER: Yes, sir.
Q. What do you think the winning score might be this week?
KEVIN KISNER: 15 to 18.
Q. I got one more hard hitter for you. Are you team Brooks or team Bryson?
KEVIN KISNER: I haven't decided, but I sure would like to see them get on there and do a little pay-per-view and quit all the BS social media stuff.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports