KAPALUA, Hawaii – Kevin Kisner shot 71 on Saturday and felt like he was moving backwards. Actually, he was.
Kisner began the day tied for second place and had a front-row seat for Jordan Spieth’s 8-under 65. When the day began, Kisner was four shots off the lead. By day’s end, Kisner was 10 shots back and tied for sixth place.
“When he’s playing good he’s going to make a lot of putts like he always does,” Kisner said, referring to Spieth.
The 31-year-old from South Carolina has been hitting the ball beautifully most of the week but has not made any key birdie putts. On Saturday, he killed early momentum on the par-4 third hole when he blew his tee shot wide right on one of the widest fairways on the course. The mishap led to bogey.
Kisner only made three more birdies on a day when low scores were everywhere.
Spieth and Kisner have been friends since Spieth arrived on Tour three years ago. They were chatting it up during most of the round, and Kisner was not shocked to see Spieth end the round with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
“Typical Jordan,” Kisner said. “You could pretty much count that putt when he was standing over it.”