AUSTIN, Texas – Over the next few months, experts will yammer on about how this player or that player is built for match play, and sometimes this is true. Ian Poulter seems as if he was created in a lab to play match play – well, that, and to torture American galleries at the Ryder Cup – and in another lifetime Paul Azinger carried the flag for the United States. Match-play players are gritty and stubborn and unrelenting. But those in the halls of power for the American teams don’t really believe that. If they did, Kevin Kisner wouldn’t have watched the last two American team events from his couch. Kisner is arguably the red, white and blue’s best match-play player and yet Jim Furyk, the ’18 American Ryder Cup skipper, took a pass. Ditto for Tiger Woods in ’19 for the Presidents Cup. Kisner wouldn’t tell you he should have been on those teams. That’s not his style. Where he’s from, telling people how good you are isn’t what you do. But his record in the format speaks loudly enough. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings In ’19 when he won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, he beat Francesco Molinari in the semifinals when he was still Francesco Molinari. The Italian was just months removed from his perfect week at the Ryder Cup and had recently won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Before his ’19 triumph, Kisner finished runner-up at the ’18 edition and after two scrappy matches this week at Austin Country Club he remains unbeaten and on a collision course with Matt Kuchar to decide who from their stacked group advances to the weekend. Kisner doesn’t like match play; he lives for it. “I love it. That’s the whole reason I play. If it’s not worth grinding then I don’t want to be out here,” he said following his 2-and-1 victory over world No. 2 Justin Thomas on Day 2. Kisner is now 16-5-1 at the WGC-Match Play and he was undefeated at the ’17 Presidents Cup (2-0-2) in his only start for an American team as a professional. “That’s the most fun I’ve probably ever had playing golf was playing team golf,” Kisner said of his Presidents Cup experience. As for being passed over by the last two U.S. captains, Kisner will tell you that if he really wanted to be on those teams he should have qualified and that’s not up for debate. But it’s also not up for debate that he deserved to be picked. Both things can be true. Steve Sticker is the U.S. Ryder Cup captain this year. Six players will automatically qualify and Stricker will have six picks. Kisner is currently 16th in the standings. On a captain’s check list Kisner hits a lot of boxes, including playing well with others. At the Zurich Classic, a two-man team event he plays with good buddy Scott Brown, he’s finished runner-up (2017) and tied for fifth (2019). He’s also very much no-nonsense and would easily fit into any team room. But most of all, he’s a dogged competitor with a demeanor that was made for match play. “I really enjoy the one-on-one competitive nature of the event,” he said. “I really like knowing what I have to do on every shot compared to a four-day event. I kind of get lost in the motions sometimes when it’s a Friday morning or Friday afternoon and everything’s not going perfect. I think you got to grind all 18 holes and that keeps my head in the game.” Yet instead of picking Kisner, Woods went chalk with his picks for the Presidents Cup, selecting Nos. 9 Tony Finau, 10 Gary Woodland, 11 Rickie Fowler, 12 Patrick Reed and 13 Tiger Woods. Kisner ranked 14th on the final list. A year earlier, Furyk selected Finau, 15th on the final Ryder Cup points list, over Kisner, who was again 14th. Kisner beat Finau on Day 2 of that year’s WGC-Match Play along with European Poulter (8 and 6, no less), Alex Noren and Bernd Wiesberger on his way to the championship match. But none of that seemed to matter. Thursday was quintessential Kisner. He relentlessly took a 4-up lead through 10 holes against Thomas, who is just two weeks removed from his dominant performance at The Players Championship, and withstood a late rally to extend his winning streak in the event to eight matches. “He’s a tough competitor. He’s not going to ever give anything away,” said Kuchar, who will play Kisner in Friday’s decisive final pool-play match. “He’s a grinder, a bulldog, he’s a guy that’s going to always be in every hole. “Shoot, certainly when you’re on a team you love having a guy like that on your team, knowing that that guy’s giving you everything he’s got on every hole.” It’s a lesson Kuchar learned in ’19 when he lost to Kisner, 3 and 2, in the championship bout. Let’s hope it’s a lesson American captains have finally figured out.
Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis On an episode of ID the Future, host Mike Keas talks with Sean McDowell about his book Understanding Intelligent Design: Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language, co-authored with William Dembski and released ten years ago. Download the podcast or listen to it here.Sean talks about changes over the decade since the book came out. For one, everyone has a smartphone and can, quicker than ever, find someone taking the other side of an argument. Meanwhile, many young people are trusting feelings more and science less.But some things haven’t changed, Sean argues: ID isn’t just good science, it’s good common sense. It just needs to be explained well.Photo credit: JESHOOTScom, via Pixabay. Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Recommended “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Tagscommon sensefeelingsID the Futureintelligent designMike KeaspodcastscienceSean McDowellUnderstanding Intelligent DesignWilliam Dembskiyoung people,Trending Intelligent Design Dembski and McDowell’s Understanding Intelligent Design: Ten Years OnEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCMay 5, 2018, 2:09 AM Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All