'Just Trying To Be Really Annoying' - Kisner Reveals Match Play Strategy

The former champion revealed the secret to his success at the WGC-Match Play

Kevin Kisner, winner of the 2019 WGC-Match Play, has made a strong start to the 2022 tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former champion Kevin Kisner has admitted he tries to “be really annoying” and “get under the skin” of his opponents when playing in the WGC-Match Play. The 2019 champion, who was also the runner-up in this event a year earlier, started the 2022 event with a 4&3 thrashing of Marc Leishman to extend his impressive match play record.

“Just trying to be really annoying,” said the 38-year-old when asked about his opening victory. “When you're really annoying it can get under their skin. I don't have the most firepower but never give a hole away is kind of my MO, and that's what I love about this golf course is I can chase the ball out there in the fairways and hole a few putts. I just tried to hit a lot of quality shots and was able to do that. I think I hit every green in regulation. Marc didn't make a lot of putts, so if he makes those putts this match is a lot more interesting.”

While Kisner made another impressive start, he added that he was going to put in some extra practice ahead of his next game. “I'm going to go work on my putting,” he said. “I wasn't real pleased with that. But ball-striking is good and it always depends on the conditions and your opponent, so we'll see how the week goes.”

Kisner’s thrashing of Leishman improved his record to 17-6-1 in this event, according to AdamSarson.com. He has played the WGC-Match Play five times, twice making the final, losing to Bubba Watson 7&6 in 2018 before bouncing back a year later to beat Kuchar 3&2 to take the title in 2019.

The WGC-Match Play is a 64-player event held at Austin Country Club in Texas. The players are divided into 16 groups of four who play in a round-robin format. Kisner is in Group 6, along with Leishman, Luke List and Justin Thomas. Only the group winner advances to the round of 16, where the tournament reverts to a straight knockout.

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!