ST. LOUIS – Kevin Kisner is naturally aggressive, so when he arrived at the 72nd hole at last year’s PGA Championship two strokes off the lead he never considered playing the percentages.
Kisner took dead aim at the flag from 209 yards, slightly pulled his approach shot and found the creek that meanders down the left side of the green on his way to a closing double bogey-6. He finished tied for seventh, four strokes behind eventual champion Justin Thomas.
“Try to keep it out of the water,” Kisner smiled on Friday at Bellerive when asked if there were any lessons he could take from last year’s championship into this year’s PGA. “No. It's golf, man, that's all I've ever done. I won everywhere I have ever been, if I shoot the lowest score, I win.”
Kisner is once again in the hunt at the PGA following a second-round 64 at Bellerive that moved him to 9 under par, just one stroke off the lead held by Gary Woodland.
Although Kisner’s outlook is always refreshingly straightforward, there are lessons from the 2017 PGA, as well as last month’s Open Championship where he finished runner-up, that he has put to use.
“We learned we needed to tighten some things up,” Kisner’s swing coach John Tillery said. “Everything gets amped up at a major. And he also does a better job preparing in practice rounds and understands things better about his golf swing.”