Bridesmaid Kisner secures victory at RSM Classic
Kevin Kisner, a four time a runner-up this season on the PGA Tour, went one step further to win the RSM Classic on Sunday with a six stroke victory over Kevin Chappell with Graeme McDowell a further stroke behind in third position.
Kisner became the sixth first-time winner in the fall start to the 2015-16 PGA Tour season.
He closed 64-64 at the Sea Island Resort (Seaside) in Georgia. Carrying a three-shot lead into Sunday, Kisner cruised to a six-stroke victory, not recording a bogey in his last 22 holes of the tournament and totalled just two for the week. Kisner also led the field with the most birdies, fewest bogeys and fewest putts per green in regulation.
“I don’t know if I could pick a better place to win for my first time,” said Kisner. “I am sure a major would’ve been awesome. But, I mean, Sea Island has always been special to me.”
The victory was one in the making following a number of near misses for Kisner. His consistency during 2015 has seen five top-two finishes, eight top-10s and 13 top-25s in 34 starts. Contrast that to 2014 which saw zero top-two finishes, four top-10s and 10 top-25s in 75 starts.
The 31-year-old from South Carolina played so well this year that he rose to No. 25 in the world. He lost in playoffs at Hilton Head, Sawgrass and the Greenbrier, and he was a runner-up for the fourth time in a World Golf Championship two weeks ago.
“I think all those close calls taught me to never give up and keep grinding,” Kisner said.
“That was the coolest moment I’ve ever had, having my daughter run up the hill to me her clapping her hands and saying, ‘Cheese!’ to the cameras.”
Cameron Percy was the best of the Australians finishing in a tie for 33rd position with Stuart Appleby finishing in a tie for 52nd position. Rhein Gibson, in his rookie year on the PGA Tour, bagged another cut finishing in a tie for 58th with Mark Hensby rounding out the Aussies making the weekend.
Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby, Greg Chalmers and Gavin Coles all missed the weekend.