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Kisner falls short in second playoff in a month

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – For the second time in less than a month, Kevin Kisner found himself on the wrong side of a playoff.

Playing in Sunday’s final pairing in his first Players Championship, Kisner shot a 3-under 69 to earn a spot in an aggregate playoff with Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. After playing the three playoff holes in 1 under, Kisner failed to convert a 12-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole and watched as Fowler closed out the victory with his third birdie of the day on No. 17.

It was reminiscent of his overtime loss four weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, where Kisner birdied the 72nd and 73rd holes before Jim Furyk won with a birdie on the second extra hole.

“So 8 under in the last 10 holes? That’s pretty good,” Kisner said of Fowler’s finish. “Feels like what I did at Hilton Head and still didn’t win. Golf is a hard and cruel game.”

Kisner began the day one shot off the lead, but relied on his past experience in contention at Harbour Town and a comfortable pairing with Chris Kirk, his teammate on the 2005 national championship team at Georgia.

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“The more you’re in that position, the better off you’re going to be, obviously,” Kisner said. “I was calm all day. I knew what was going on, and it was a cool feeling out there coming down the stretch.”

Kisner birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to tie Fowler and Garcia at 12 under, then faced a 10-foot birdie try to win on the 72nd hole. The putt appeared online before slipping by on the right side at the last moment.

“Two feet out, I said, ‘That’s center-cut,’” Kisner said. “I thought it was dead center. I don’t know if it hit anything, I couldn’t tell. But that’s such a good putt to hit coming down the stretch ... I’ll remember that one when I need to make another one.”

In the midst of some of the best golf of his career, Kisner will look to carry the momentum to next week’s Wells Fargo Championship as he eyes his first career victory.

“I mean, I’m playing well,” he said. “Just going to keep grinding, and I’ll get one sooner or later.”