CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kevin Kisner got tripped up by the Green Mile for the second straight day. This time, it cost him a shot at winning his first major.
Kisner started the final round of the PGA Championship with a one-shot lead, and he was only one shot behind Justin Thomas standing on the 16th hole. But a Kisner bogey on No. 16 was followed by a Thomas birdie on No. 17, and Kisner closed with a watery double knowing he needed an eagle to force a playoff.
It was a similar outcome to Kisner’s third round, when he doubled No. 16 and bogeyed the home hole at Quail Hollow Club but still stayed one shot clear of the field. He ended the tournament in a tie for seventh at 4 under after a final-round 74.
“What did I play, the last three in 6 over the last two days? That’s not going to be fun to look at,” Kisner said. “I thought I had to get to 10 (under) starting the day to win, and that was about right. I had every opportunity. I just didn’t finish it off.”
Kisner opened the day with a series of clutch par saves, sticking to a game plan that called for biding his time and capitalizing on the few easy holes Quail Hollow offered. But his first blemish came on the reachable par-5 seventh hole, which he had played in 4 under for the first three days, as a watery 3-iron approach led to a bogey.
“Oh, man. No. 7 is going to haunt me, hitting in the water short there,” he said. “I actually went back for one more club and got greedy with it. That’s one of the holes I have to make 4 on to compete, and to walk away with 6 was painful.”
Kisner had never cracked the top 10 in a major prior to this week, and while his first stint in the final group on Sunday didn’t go as planned he is eager to contend again on one of the game’s biggest stages.
“I’m excited to get back. I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Kisner said. “I felt great all day. I felt good. It’s probably more pressure than a regular Tour event, but it’s still a lot of fun. That last finish is just brutal.”