RIDGELAND, S.C. – There’s the competitors on the PGA Tour that includes the world’s finest golfers battling every week for titles, prize cash and factors.
Then there are smaller contests throughout the grander scope, maybe extra for delight and bragging rights than the rest.
For Kevin Kisner, a native and resident of Aiken, South Carolina, it could be very cool to win an event in his dwelling state. South Carolina has an annual tour cease on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Kisner, on the PGA Tour since 2011, has come near being fitted for a tartan jacket, together with a playoff loss to Jim Furyk in 2015.
“I always wanted to be the first one to win Harbour Town, and Wesley Bryan snuck in and got me on that one,” Kisner, 37, mentioned Wednesday.
Bryan, a Columbia, South Carolina, native, captured the 2017 Heritage as a PGA Tour rookie to turn out to be the first South Carolina-born champion in the event’s then-49 years of existence.
“We’ve got another chance this week, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to have a chance to win,” Kisner mentioned.
This week is a one-time alternative as Congaree Golf Club makes its PGA Tour debut by internet hosting the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. The event changed the RBC Canadian Open on the 2020-21 schedule after the Toronto event was canceled due to logistical points associated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kisner has made 4 earlier visits to Congaree, a non-public course north of Ridgeland close to the city of Gillisonville in Jasper County.
“It’s a fantastic place to come and practice and work on my game. For me, they have an awesome practice facility, and the golf course is topnotch,” Kisner mentioned. “The hospitality and the service they provide to all ambassadors and the PGA Tour has been topnotch. So I think we’re all fortunate to be here.”
Kisner is one in every of a number of PGA Tour gamers related to the membership as Professional Ambassadors. Congaree Foundation applications help golf, tutorial and vocational abilities and alternatives for youngsters, which intently aligns with the mission of the Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation in Aiken.
“We recommend a child in our area that we feel is worthy of coming down to participate in their foundation schooling that they have throughout the summer,” Kisner mentioned in reference to the signature program, Congaree Global Golf Initiative.
That program helps highschool golfers from world wide learn to pursue and earn faculty scholarships. For golfers recent out of school and new to the skilled ranks, they’ll flip to seasoned veterans corresponding to Kisner.
Davis Thompson performs his shot from the third tee throughout the second spherical of the a hundred and twentieth U.S. Open Championship on September 18, 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Davis Thompson simply accomplished a extremely embellished beginner profession along with his ultimate season on the University of Georgia. He’s making his professional debut this week and had breakfast on Tuesday with Kisner, UGA Class of 2006.
“I was asking him for advice,” Kisner mentioned. “He’s playing better than I am right now, so I was hoping he could help me.
“These kids are so prepared to play the PGA Tour now,” he continued. “They walk around with their protein shakes and TrackMans, and they’re ready to hit it 350 yards. I don’t think they need any advice.”
So what did they speak about?
“We were just cutting up, talking about Georgia,” Kisner mentioned with a smile.
Thompson had his flip with a video press convention on Tuesday and was requested concerning the constant success of so many former UGA golfers on the PGA Tour. Former Bulldogs Greyson Sigg and Thompson’s faculty roommate, beginner Spencer Ralston, certified Monday for subsequent week’s U.S. Open.
“Definitely gives us a lot of confidence that we’re kind of in the same fraternity and then we kind of feed off each other and congratulate each other. So I think it’s pretty healthy,” Thompson mentioned.
Though he’s not a Georgia man, Dustin Johnson might have been if he had listened to Kisner, his outdated good friend and competitor as juniors in the Palmetto State.
“Tried like heck to get him to transfer from Coastal Carolina to come to Georgia, and that would have been something special, too,” Kisner mentioned Wednesday.
The world’s top-ranked participant, Johnson was born 37 years in the past this month in Columbia, S.C. He is taking part in the first two rounds in a grouping with Kisner, so the entire first-to-win contest would possibly come up in dialog.
“Obviously, it’s my home state,” Johnson mentioned Wednesday. “It’s where I grew up. It’s kind of where I honed my skills throughout my early days all through college. Yeah, it would mean a lot to win in South Carolina.”
Nathan Dominitz is the Sports Content Editor of the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com. Email him at [email protected] Twitter: @NathanDominitz