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Kevin Kisner: 'I just don't go to the Tour events that I don't think I can win'

Golfweek logo Golfweek 1/13/2021 Todd Kelly
a man holding a baseball bat on a field: Sentry Tournament of Champions © Provided by Golfweek Sentry Tournament of Champions

Sports fans and media alike always say they wish pro athletes were more honest.

Well, Kevin Kisner was as honest as you would hope a pro golfer could be on Wednesday as he answered questions during his news conference ahead of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

On Wednesday at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Kisner spoke of becoming a father again in February when asked about building his 2021 schedule.

“I have a third baby due in four weeks,” he said. “So I’m going to take off after that all the way through the WGC. That’s a pretty big schedule change.”

Kisner tied for 24th last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui and stuck around for the Sony this week. Admittedly, Kisner, based in Aiken, South Carolina, doesn’t travel to the west-coast events all that often anymore.

Sony Open in Hawaii: Tee times, TV info | Odds | Field by the rankings

“I decided to completely eliminate the entire West Coast and come back in Florida. The schedule is a little bit different with Tampa after the Masters, which is normally a frequent stop of mine before Augusta. So I’m still looking at how I’m going to do Players, Bay Hill, the whole stretch there, if I’m going to play all three of them up to the Match Play.”

Kisner will miss Tour stops in Phoenix and Pebble Beach. He’ll also skip events at Torrey Pines and Riviera, both iconic venues, in February.

That led to this follow-up: “But you never play Torrey Pines anyway, do you?”

To which Kisner responded, “No, sir. I don’t even play it in the U.S. Open.”

In further discussing his schedule, Kisner said he simply didn’t play Tour events at venues where he didn’t think he could win. He referenced Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines, which happens to be this year’s U.S. Open venue, as examples.

When asked why he might show up at such a venue, Kisner offered a valid point.

“Because they give away a lot of money for 20th,” he said.

Kisner has three career victories on the PGA Tour. Those titles came at Sea Island (Georgia), Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas and Austin (Texas) Country Club.

Still, Kisner stuck by his thinking that there are courses where he simply doesn’t like his chances.

“I don’t think I can make up enough ground in the areas that I’m great on certain courses. So I just don’t attend those,” he said by way of explanation. “I think on the flipside, I think I probably put too much pressure on myself on the courses I know I can win at. I have to be cognizant of that.”

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