CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kevin Kisner has always enjoyed playing Quail Hollow but this week that affinity has grown substantially.
Always more comfortable on Bermuda greens, like the ones he grew up playing in South Carolina, the transition this week to the more familiar putting surface for the PGA Championship has had a predictable outcome.
Kisner was second in strokes gained putting (4.02) on his way to a 67 and a share of the first-round lead with Thorbjorn Olesen.
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“I do. I love playing on the Bermuda. I like the bent [grass] when I’m in the rough, but I like the Bermuda when I’m in the fairway,” he said. “You know if you start it on line, even late in the day they were getting a little choppy, it’s going to have a good chance of going in. I just feel so comfortable.”
It turned out to be a confidence boost on a course that’s not exactly a perfect fit for Kisner, who isn’t the game’s longest hitter but he is among the most accurate off the tee.
The way Kisner has it figured, he has four birdie holes at Quail Hollow – Nos. 7, 8, 14 and 15 – and needs to play for par on the other 14 holes. The plan worked perfectly on Thursday, when he birdied his “go to” holes and added two more birdies at the sixth and 18th, the latter coming when he rolled in a 30-footer.
“I’m just going to be trying to stick to birdieing the holes they give to you to make birdie and [on the others] if I’m in the fairway, I’m going to putt from 30 feet. I’m content with that,” he said.