Kevin Kisner showed a hint of Sunday nerves a day early during the third round of the US PGA Championship, but he is ready for a "dogfight".
Born in South Carolina, Kisner had plenty of adoring fans in his gallery at Quail Hollow on Saturday.
He gave them reason to cheer through 15 holes, reaching 10 under while widening his lead, but then the 'Green Mile' crept up on him.
Kisner played the brutal three-hole stretch in three over with a double bogey on 16 and a bogey on 18, but he still finished the day up one stroke over Hideki Matsuyama and Chris Stroud.
"I'm happy I'm in the position I'm in," Kisner said after his round. "I had a chance to run away from guys and take people out of the tournament that were four or five, six back, and I didn't do it. Now I'm in a dogfight tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that."
Quail Hollow underwent a number of changes from its annual Wells Fargo Championship layout. Most of the differences can be found on the front nine, but Kisner thinks the final stretch is playing harder than normal.
"For some reason, 18's playing way longer," Kisner said. "I think it's just the firmness of the fairways is not there. [On] 16, normally if you chase one down there, you can hit a six- or seven-iron in and I've been hitting four and five. [On] 18, I've had five-iron both days into until today, I had seven-iron to that front pin. I think the length is causing it. The last two days it was firmness of the greens, but today they were not as firm and I just think everybody is hitting longer clubs into it."
Steady as ever, Kisner looked calm and collected even while facing adversity late in his third round.
"I think I've been pretty good at that. This game will do it to you in my opinion. As soon as you think you're on top of things, it finds a way to kick you right in the face," Kisner said. "So there's no real reason for me getting mad or upset or showing you all that I'm ticked off.
"I'm pretty good at keeping it all in, and you know, the golf course here is so hard; if you get p*****, you're just going to throw away more shots. There's no real reason to show that emotion."
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