Notebook: Three-time playoff loser Kevin Kisner in good company
By Doug Ferguson
At least Kevin Kisner is in good company.
When he lost in a four-man playoff at the Greenbrier Classic, Kisner became the first player since Horton Smith in 1937 to lose three playoffs in one year. The difference is that Smith already was a two-time Masters champion at this point and won three PGA Tour events that year.
Kisner is still looking for his first win. And in each playoff, he lost out to a birdie.
He made birdie on the 18th in regulation and in the sudden-death playoff at Hilton Head, only for Jim Furyk to win with a birdie on the second extra hole. At the Greenbrier, David Hearn and Danny Lee advanced in the playoff with birdies (Lee won with a par on the next hole). And at The Players Championship, Kisner matched birdies with Rickie Fowler on the island-green 17th during a three-hole playoff to force sudden death, where Fowler won with another birdie on the 17th.
"I keep knocking on it, I'll be there soon enough," Kisner said. "I keep playing well, I'll win one of them."
It's not a total loss.
Kisner ended last year ranked No. 236. Now he's up to No. 36. He is playing three majors this year (after playing only one in his career going into this season). And the playoff loss at Greenbrier pushed his season earnings over $3 million. His career earnings going into this year was just over $1.5 million.
He has two more majors this year and has, in effect, locked up a spot in his first World Golf Championship.
LONG RUN AT DEERE RUN: John Deere will continue to serve as the title sponsor of the PGA Tour event in Illinois through 2023.
The Moline, Illinois-based company says it has reached a seven-year extension with the PGA Tour to host the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run just east of its headquarters. The tournament has been held in the Quad Cities area on the Illinois-Iowa line since 1971, and John Deere took over as the title sponsor in 1998.
Financial terms weren't disclosed.
DUBAI BONUS: The European Tour will award a bonus to the top 15 players in its Race to Dubai series provided they play in three of the four Final Series events – the Turkish Airlines Open, HSBC Champions, BMW Masters and DP World Tour Championship.
The winner of the Race to Dubai receives a $1.25 million bonus, plus an additional 50 percent of the bonus ($625,000) if he plays in at least three of those final events. The bonus bump is a sliding scale down to an additional 10 percent of the bonus for 15th place.
Because of the incentive, however, the bonus money will no longer be considered official money and will not be added to the Race to Dubai rankings.
DIVOTS: The Old White TPC at the Greenbrier Classic (par 70) has produced 15 rounds of 62 or lower dating to 2010, the most of any on the PGA Tour. TPC Summerlin (Las Vegas) and TPC John Deere are tied among courses that have a par 71 for most rounds of 62 or lower with 11. And the leader for a par 72? PGA West (Humana Challenge) with seven rounds at 62 or lower. ... Chad Campbell is showing small signs of a resurgence. He has finished out of the top 125 the last two years and used his one-time exemption from career money this year. Campbell is No. 97 in the FedExCup with seven weeks remaining. ... John Peterson is No. 81 in the FedExCup, the highest place among players who have not recorded a top 10 this year. Peterson has three top-20s and has missed only three cuts.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods finished six shots off the lead at the Greenbrier. It was the first time he finished within single digits of the winner since he was nine shots back at Doral in March 2014.
FINAL WORD: "This golf game is not that complicated. People make it complicated." – Lee Trevino.
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