By Paul Myers
At The RSM Classic last weekend in Sea Island, GA, Kevin Kisner was able to secure his first career PGA Tour win. The win continued a theme that has been seen all throughout the fall schedule on Tour, as all but one of the tournaments has been claimed by a first time winner. Other than Graeme McDowell winning at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, every other tournament has given rise to a new PGA Tour winner. Most would agree, that in the case of Kisner, the win was bound to happen at some point in the near future.
Although the former Georgia Bulldog turned pro all the way back in 2006, he has had his best year by far in 2015. Never before had Kevin Kisner won $1 Million in a season on Tour, yet he took home more than $3.5 Million in the 2015 Tour year (not including the events this fall that are part of the 2016 schedule. Most notably, Kisner recorded three runner-up finishes in 2015, knocking on the door several times only to be turned away. He already had a second place finish to his credit in the 2016 campaign before breaking through in style at The RSM Classic. Not only did Kevin Kisner win in Sea Island, he ran away from the field and finished six clear of his nearest competitor. With a total score of -22 for the week, Kisner left no doubt that he would be walking away with this trophy. Given his impressive form throughout all of the 2015 calendar year, it would be no surprise to see Kevin Kisner carry his play over into the 2016 calendar year as well.
After winning the week before, Graeme McDowell backed up his good play with another impressive week, posting -15 to finish solo third. McDowell had been struggling with his game throughout most of the year, but he has clearly regained his form over the last two weeks. With a resume as strong as McDowell’s, it seems likely that this run of good golf will set him up for a notable 2016 performance on the global stage – perhaps culminating at the Ryder Cup.
Break Until January
With the end of The RSM Classic, the PGA Tour will head off into the holiday season for a short break before returning for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. While there will be a couple of extra events played in December – the Hero World Challenge and the Franklin Templeton Shootout – neither of those events have FedEx Cup points attached to their outcomes. Some of the players will remain active during the few weeks ahead, while others will stay home and rest up prior to the west coast swing. In addition to the Hyundai event in Kapalua, Maui, the Tour also visits Honolulu before turning to the mainland to play several events in California and Arizona.