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Kisner encouraged despite third straight playoff loss

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – For the third time in as many months, Kevin Kisner left a PGA Tour event with a “P-2” designation.

Kisner was four shots back to begin the final round of The Greenbrier Classic, with more than a dozen names ahead of his on a tightly packed leaderboard. He closed with a 64, including four birdies on the back nine, but his final birdie putt from 16 feet came up one roll short on the 72nd green.

Kisner tapped in for a closing par at 4:16 p.m., nearly two hours before the leaders finished, and waited to see if his score would hold up. He ended up in a four-man playoff, but was eliminated on the first extra hole while Danny Lee went on to victory one hole later.

That left Kisner to stomach another overtime loss after sudden-death defeats to Jim Furyk at the RBC Heritage and Rickie Fowler at The Players Championship earlier this season.

 “I had fun, just to have a chance, being four back with all those people in front of you,” Kisner said. “I told my caddie in the 11th fairway, I had to get to 14 [under] to have a chance. I had the number right, I just didn’t get there.”

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While Kisner’s previous two playoff defeats were the result of his opponents simply making one more birdie, this time his elimination came at his own hand. Kisner watched Robert Streb fly the green on the par-3 18th to begin the four-man playoff, but his tee shot followed Streb’s into some long rough over the green.

Kisner’s first pitch attempt didn’t move the ball, essentially sealing his fate with Lee and David Hearn already on the green in regulation.

“Four guys in a playoff on a par 3, it’s kind of a pull-out-the-straws kind of deal,” he said. “I hit the same club I hit in regulation [on 18] that came up short, and I flew it over the green this time. So not sure how that all worked.”

Kisner remains one of the hottest players on Tour not named Jordan Spieth, and his runner-up is his fourth straight top-15 finish and sixth such result across his last eight starts since Harbour Town. He is projected to move inside the top 40 in the world ranking for the first time in his career, but the 31-year-old will have to wait at least one more week for what would be his maiden PGA Tour victory.

Kisner began the year ranked No. 236 in the world, and he remains focused on the positives from his recent run of form rather than the pain of yet another close call.

“It’s tough to win out here, man,” Kisner said. “I’ve had a heck of a year, and if I can keep it going like this, I’ll have plenty of wins.”