On Sunday in Greensboro (NC), Kevin Kisner breathed life into his underwhelming season by winning the Wyndham Championship.
The 37-year-old Kisner went low on the weekend and then won an epic six-man playoff with a birdie on the second overtime hole. He did well to even reach that second playoff hole, as he botched his approach on the first extra hole, but got up-and-down, nearly holing an immaculate pitch.
It was Kisner’s fourth career PGA Tour victory.
Now 34th in the world rankings, he improved his FedExCup position from 69th to 29th, giving him an advantage in trying to reach East Lake. He now has three top-8 finishes in his last five starts.
“Obviously, I knew I needed a big run here in the playoffs to make it to East Lake and have a good chance at the FedExCup,” said Kisner. “So to go ahead and get an early start on that last week was awesome.
“Obviously, I know Sedgefield is a great golf course for my game, and I knew I had some success in the past.
“I knew I liked this place as well, and I’ve got a lot of great memories from next week. So hopefully, the run continues.”
The South Carolina native has in fact played this event well in recent years. He finished T4 a year ago at TPC Boston, and was T12 at Liberty National the year prior, opening the tournament with a 64.
Kisner has been relatively streaky in his career, so there should be little doubt that he is capable of chasing his Wyndham victory with an exceptional finish this week.
His goal for the opening two legs of the playoffs is to pick up enough FedExCup points to maintain his position inside the top-30 and secure a spot in the field at East Lake.
“I just think, if you make it to the TOUR Championship, it sets up your whole next year,” said Kisner. “You get into all the majors and all the invitationals, and you can really set your schedule up.
“Obviously, you’ve got a chance to make a lot of world ranking points there in a smaller field. So it’s all added bonuses to your career and the following year.
“Being one short is the first loser, in my opinion, and it won’t be a success.”
Kisner will also likely be further motivated by his desire to make the American Ryder Cup team. With two weeks to go before Steve Stricker makes his captain’s picks, Kisner is 18th in the standings, with 12 players making the team.
Another great week could really force Stricker’s hands, given Kisner’s prior dominance in match play.