June 7, 2014

Local golf notes: Kisner eyes monumental week

This promises to be the most exciting week of Kevin Kisner’s life.

This promises to be the most exciting week of Kevin Kisner’s life.

His wife, Brittany, is due to deliver the couple’s first child, and he will be competing in his first major championship, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

“Crazy and exciting,” said Kisner, an Aiken native who played at the University of Georgia.

But there’s no doubt about his priorities.

“The baby is way more exciting than any golf tournament could be,” he said.

The plan: induce labor early Monday morning and, Kisner said, “If everything goes well, I will try to get to Pinehurst late Tuesday or early Wednesday.”

Kisner, 30, is in his third year on the PGA Tour and playing some of the best golf of his life. He has made the cut in six of his past seven starts. He has climbed to 103 in the FedEx points standings and secured a berth in the Open in Sectional Qualifying on Monday.

He qualified for the Open at Colonial Country Club in Memphis. He flew in from the Memorial in Ohio on Sunday night, opened Monday’s 36-hole marathon with a 3-under-par 69 on the South Course, and came back in the afternoon with a 5 under 66 on the North.

“I didn’t know the courses, but I felt good after the 69 on the harder course,” he said. “I made some birdies (six and one bogey) and cruised in the afternoon. Qualifying is different in that you’re shooting for a number, kind of like making the cut. You want to qualify and let the winning take care of itself.”

Growing up in Aiken, Kisner’s first focus on golf’s majors centered on The Masters at nearby Augusta, but, he said, “Any of them are cool, and making the Open is really sweet. I hope the Open is the first of many (majors).”

Although he has played Pinehurst No. 2 in junior events, he doesn’t recall the last time he played there.

Pair of aces Barry Reynolds reports that he played a recent round at Columbia Country Club with Mark Gore and his daughter, Ann Elizabeth, and one of those believe-it-or-not moments unfolded. Father made a hole-in-one on the fifth hole, which played at 155 yards, and daughter aced the 17th at 123 yards.

“I had never seen two aces in the same round, much less a father and daughter in the same round,” Reynolds said.

Most people would say the same things.

Chip shots Andrew Dorn, who recently completed his junior season at Coastal Carolina, received an alternate’s berth in the U.S. Open. In Golfweek’s rankings, Dorn is rated 55th among U.S. amateurs and tied for 98th in the world. He is a two-time All-Big South selection for the Chanticleers. ...

Cory Taylor and Mike Hartin combined to defeat Walt Todd and Brandon Truesdale 2 and 1 for the SCGA Four-Ball Championship at the CC of Spartanburg. ...

The Classic Junior Golf of America tourney will be Saturday and Sunday at Cobblestone Park. See classicjuniorgolf. com or call (803) 714-2621.

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