NAPLES, Fla. — You know that moment when work gets in the way of fun? We’ve all been there. Including Kevin Kisner.
You see, Kisner’s beloved Georgia Bulldogs take on Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff on Jan 1. But Kisner’s job as a PGA Tour pro — and winner of a 2016-17 event — requires him to be in Maui that same week for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
“I’m still trying to get to the game,” said Kisner prior to this week’s QBE Shootout. “I just have to figure it out.”
Just how big of a Bulldogs fan is Kisner? “The biggest!” he says. You may remember the the Saturday of the Tour Championship in September, when Kisner asked the Twittersphere for helicopter recommendations so he could catch the Georgia-Mississippi State game in Athens. Justin Thomas eventually hooked him up. And if you think Kisner hasn’t thought about how he could pull double-duty in a few weeks, you don’t know his fandom that well. He’s contemplating flying to Hawaii, then leaving his family for a day to travel to Pasadena, Calif., for Georgia’s game against Oklahoma. He’d then fly back to Maui immediately following the game. The first round of the Tournament of Champions is Jan. 4.
Kisner is one of five Bulldogs in the field at this week’s QBE Shootout, along with Bubba Watson, Harris English, Brian Harman and Russell Henley, and all are more than happy to talk about their beloved football team. This time of year, college football is a hot topic on Tour, especially when rival schools collide. Kisner had a Twitter battle with Auburn grad Jason Dufner during the SEC championship game.
“It’s fun to chat with these guys that are in tune with what’s going on with the teams,” Kisner said. “Duf is one of those guys.”
Kisner said he also had a few “conversations” with Thomas, an Alabama alum, but says that for the most part they’re civil because “we respect both institutions.”
But that’s not the case when Harman is asked about the Crimson Tide’s controversial spot in the playoffs (they got the final spot over Ohio State). Harman, who graduated from Georgia in 2009, says, “Alabama’s best win this season was against LSU, and they’re not even ranked in the top 15. Ohio State should be in.”
So will this be the year for the Bulldogs?
“I think we’ll beat Oklahoma,” Kisner says. “They haven’t seen that much speed on defense before. If we get paired up against Clemson or Alabama in the National Championship, it’s gonna be a slugfest.”
As for seeing a national championship slugfest in person, Kisner has one hurdle left to clear.
“I still gotta run that by my wife,” he says.