Sea Island, Georgia
THE MODERATOR: Welcome Kevin Kisner to the media center here at the RSM Classic.
64 today to take a three-shot lead heading into the final round. Take us through what was working for you today.
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, just another solid day. I’ve been striking it nicely all week, and continue to give myself a lot of chaces for birdie. Today I capitalized on a few of them. Hit it close on two out of the last three and made the nice long one on the last hole.
Playing spoiled. Hopefully keep it going into tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: You’ve been in contention a whole bunch this calendar year, and another chance tomorrow. What kind of experiences are you going to take into the final round tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, just getting more and more comfortable in that situation. I was telling these guys yesterday that China I felt as good as I have I was feeling as good as ever in that position.
Hopefully that’s how it is tomorrow. Hopefully the weather is pretty good for us and I just keep playing the way I’m playing.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Kevin, just the fall season got you 13 out of 15 rounds under par. Continuation of your play in the season? Not a whole lot time between. Did you just kind of stay hot? Did you stay on a certain level and maybe even pick it up a little bit in the last four tournaments?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I struggled at Eastlake, as you all probably saw. I actually took the Frys off, so I went and worked with my coach those two weeks and we made some changes.
Really starting to feel comfortable with them towards Malaysia and China and played well there. I’ve just been swinging it nicely here all week and hitting a lot of quality shots and having a lot of chances for birdie.
Q. Two things: After the bogey on 14 and not birdieing on 15, what’s the value, beyond the obvious three shots, to finish the day the way did you going into tomorrow?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, it was huge. Standing on 15 I was thinking it was going to be a dog fight all day tomorrow again, which it will. But having a three-shot cushion was huge to finish that way. 16 is not my favorite tee show in the world that left-to-right wind, so to have a really good one and birdie there was clutch.
For some reason I’ve always hit good shots on 17. I remember that pin last year. I hit it like a foot there, too. That’s been a good hole for me.
Really nice to finish off with that 30-footer on the last hole to give myself one more tomorrow.
Q. We were talking about your back today. I am ashamed to admit I’m a little bit off. You were hurt at the TOUR Championship, but then you also mentioned the 16th tee at Malaysia and taking time off in Shanghai. Are they connected at all?
KEVIN KISNER: I wasn’t hurt at TOUR Championship.
Q. Except for your golf game.
KEVIN KISNER: Yes, mentally.
Q. So the back issue was Malaysia and early part of Shanghai?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah. Something weird happened on Sunday at 16 in Malaysia and just locked up. I didn’t hit a golf shot until Thursday morning in China.
Q. Kevin, you seem very confident and have been playing well; striking the ball fantastically. Three-stroke lead. Been in this position before finishing second. What do you believe you really need to do tomorrow to get over the hump and capture the first win?
KEVIN KISNER: What I’ve learned is you just can’t hold back on this tour. Any time you think you’re doing great, somebody else is too. I’m just going to try to keep making birdies. I’ll put a number of 20, 21 in my head and see if they can catch that one.
Q. I think we asked this yesterday, but going into the final round, what’s your comfort level being in this position so many times over the last year? Can you compare it to where you were in Hilton Head?
KEVIN KISNER: Yeah, I was probably — that’s what I was talking about, is Hilton Head is where I really saw — 14th hole at Hilton head I hit a 6-iron to that back right pint to about five feet. I needed to make birdies to have a chance to win, and that’s when I said, Man, I’ve got it going on. I know what I need to do to hit good shots coming down the stretch.
That’s what I’ve built on in all the playoffs and coming down the stretch all year. In China it just felt like normal golf coming down the stretch. It was like exciting and trying to win. So that’s what I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. What you say is the biggest win of your career up until this point?
KEVIN KISNER: Web.coms, I guess. Two of those to get good back on this tour.
Q. Do you remember anything? Like what stands out about those two wins?
KEVIN KISNER: In the first one I didn’t even know I won. I made a putt from like sex feet on the last hole and the guy behind me had made double and I didn’t even know it.
In Chile, I knew what I needed to do coming down the stretch mand had a pretty good par-5 that I could lay it up and make par and still win.
That was a while back, so I don’t know if I’ll build it on that as much as I will how I performed coming down the stretch in THE PLAYERS and Hilton Head and China.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks much for coming in, Kevin.
KEVIN KISNER: Thank you.