Back complicates Kisner's U.S. Open hopes


DUBLIN, Ohio – The waiting game continues for Kevin Kisner after another strong week at the Memorial.

Kisner closed with a 2-under 70 at Muirfield Village and broke par in each of his four rounds en route to a T-8 finish. The result is even more impressive considering Kisner has been battling a bad back the entire week.

“Thursday morning, first wedge shot on the range. I don’t know what happened,” Kisner said. “But I’ve been getting a lot of treatment, and today’s the best it’s been. I finally got some pop back in my tee balls.”

Kisner continued his recent hot streak, one that includes a pair of playoff losses and a T-5 finish at Colonial across his last five starts. But in order to punch his ticket to the U.S. Open, Kisner will have to hope the OWGR math finally breaks his way.

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Kisner entered the week at No. 61 in the rankings, and the top 60 after next week will earn exemptions. This week’s finish will likely bolster his standing, but he could still be bumped out by a player at next week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Kisner is not playing in Memphis, and he withdrew from Monday’s sectional qualifier in Columbus to rest his back, meaning that the top-60 provision will be his only chance to make the field. Kisner’s next scheduled start is the Greenbrier Classic, and while he would prefer to make the trip to Chambers Bay, he would also welcome a few weeks at home after a torrid stretch.

“I want to kind of recharge and regroup and get ready to go for the playoffs, and try to make a run here for the Tour Championship and the Presidents Cup,” he said. “You don’t always want to quit when you’ve been playing well, but if I’m going to give it my all here at the end of the year, and get ready for the playoffs, I figure I need to take some time now, and this is the time to do it.”