GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kevin Kisner emerged victorious from a six-man playoff at the Wyndham Championship. After witnessing Adam Scott miss his knee-knocking 4-footer on the first playoff hole to win, Kisner stood unusually calm over his 4-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole with all six guys still remaining. Unlike Scott, Kisner converted.
“I was actually a little more amped up early on than coming down the stretch,” said Kisner after the playoff. “That’s what's crazy about humans and pressure, you never know when you're going to be feeling it or how you're going to react.”
Kisner didn’t think he had a shot at winning until he saw the scoreboard after his birdie on No. 16. “I looked up and saw that I was only one back," he said. "I knew that 17 was a birdie hole and if you could hit a good drive on 18 you could have a chance.”
Kisner birdied the par-4 17th, thanks to a magnificent approach shot inside of 2 feet. He then parred the last to finish at 15 under, good enough to join five others on that number.
Kisner was seeking his fourth PGA Tour title, but his first win in a playoff. He entered this extra session 0-5 in his Tour career.
On the first playoff hole, only two players hit the 18th green and Kisner was not one of them. His tee shot landed in the intermediate rough and a poor strike on his second shot left him 37 yards to the green. Kisner pitched to a foot for a well-earned par, but thought he was done.
“I never thought Adam was going to miss that putt,” he said.
To his surprise, all six guys were moving on and Kisner had another chance to redeem himself.
“I was fortunate enough to have a perfect number into 18,” Kisner said regarding his approach shot on the second playoff hole, also the par-4 18th. A 163-yard 9-iron and a club-twirl later, Kisner found himself 4 feet and 1 inch away from the Wyndham Championship title.
“It’s a crazy way to break the no-wins-in-a-playoff streak,” Kisner joked after his victory, well-aware he’d lost all five of his previous playoffs on Tour.
“Every time you win out here, it's hard. This year's been somewhat of a struggle for me,” added Kisner, who started the year with a playoff loss at The RSM Classic. “You never know when it's going to happen again so you've got to cherish every time.”
When asked if this win would help his Ryder Cup chances, Kisner joked, “I've never been picked before, so I'm not going to jump on a limb and say that I'm going to get picked this year.”
Kisner knew time was running out. Starting out the week 69th in FedExCup points and 23rd in the Ryder Cup standings, he needed to win or finish well to better his chances to be at East Lake and Whistling Straits. He's now 29th in FEC points, but still well outside the top 6 in Ryder Cup points, which would grant him an automatic spot. Still, Captain Stricker, who has six wild-card picks, must have taken notice.
“I would love more than anything to represent our country and be a part of that team,” he said. “I need to play well in these playoffs and continue to show great form. I haven't been in a great position to make the Tour Championship, so I knew this week I needed to jump up the board."
“You can't win it if you're not there,” Kisner concluded. “So let's go keep moving up.”