After taking out world No. 7 Francesco Molinari 1-up, and No. 23 Matt Kuchar 3&2, Kevin Kisner was the last man standing in Austin, Texas – and raising the Walter Hagen Cup as the 2019 WGC-Dell Match Play Champion.
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It was the third career PGA Tour victory for the 35-year old South Carolinian, who earned $1,725,000 and 550 FedExCup points.
Afterwards, Kisner met with the media in the press room Austin Country Club. Here are a few pulls from the back and forth.
THE MEANING OF VICTORY
This moves you inside the top 10 in the FedExCup standings and greatly improves your chance of getting on the Presidents Cup team. Just how big of a week was this for the rest of your season.
KISNER: A win is always huge. That’s what we play for, is wins and trophies. But we want to be in that FedExCup playoffs. We want to have a chance in Atlanta to win the FedExCup.
And we’re always working the entire year to see where it goes. And it’s going to do a huge deal for the rest of my season to have a chance in Atlanta, and to hopefully play on Tiger’s team in Australia.
BEING LEFT OFF THE RYDER CUP
You talked about playing on foreign soil, not getting the chance to play in Paris. How much of a driving factor has that been or kind of a bit of a chip on your shoulder?
KISNER: There’s two sides to it. I don’t think it’s driven me to do anything more. I’m probably the most driven personal guy there is. I’m striving to be the best all the time for myself. But I didn’t play well in the playoffs. I gave Jim no reason to pick me. And that’s what I told Jim. He kept calling me all week, I’m like, “Dude, these golf courses are terrible for me, but I’m trying my best.”
I was not on form to go over there. I know the golf course suited me perfect. He had a terribly hard — who was he going to take out? Was he going to leave Phil at home and take Kiz?
Nobody is going to do that, right? Even though hindsight is 20/20, everybody should have taken Kiz (laughter). I loved Westwood’s comment this week, being a little cheeky.
Jim and I are great friends and I kept telling him, “Jim, if I could just play well, it would help me out,” but I never did. So I have no problem with that.
At this stage in your career does money matter to you? Can you elaborate?
KISNER: (Nodding.) (Laughter.) Yes, sir. When I started golfing I had 16,000 bucks.
KISNER: Yeah. And my dad gave it to me. And I never asked him for another dollar. And I think that’s probably the coolest part of my career is I had to make putts when it mattered starting at a young age and I learned to do it.
And when you’ve got to make a putt to clear money for the week to fill your car up or drive back home it makes you a stronger person. So money has driven me my whole life.
How low did that 16,000 get?
KISNER: Never went low, I won my third event.
How high did it get before you got through it?
KISNER: Man, I had like 40 grand, I thought I was the richest guy in the world (laughter).
I’m sorry, what were the — were you paying for your entry fee or was it one of —
KISNER: Yeah, you pay your entry fee on the Mini Tour. So when I started it paid my entry fee. And I won money on each one and then I won my third one.
Do you know what you won today?
KISNER: No idea.
One million, seven hundred —
KISNER: That’s it? We need to get bigger purses (laughter). That was a lot of work.
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