Kevin Kisner remains PGA Tour hungry despite NBC Sports analyst opportunity

Kevin Kisner stepped in as one of NBC Sports’ analysts earlier this season as the search continues to find Paul Azinger’s permanent replacement.

He helped out at The Sentry, WM Phoenix Open and The Players.

Fans quickly fell for Kisner’s quick wit and golf knowledge. They also loved his laidback vibe on the broadcast and his chemistry with Smylie Kaufman.

A month stands between NBC Sports and the network’s biggest broadcast at the U.S. Open. Yet, there has been no movement on who will be the lead analyst in Pinehurst, N.C.

Rumors suggested Kisner was the person NBC Sports wanted to fill Azinger’s spot permanently, but the 40-year-old has not taken the job. He still has a regular job as a PGA Tour pro.

Kisner knows he could step into this role easily but feels he can still win on the PGA Tour, detailing those thoughts on “The Loop” podcast with Golf Digest.

“I haven’t played well in two years, and I don’t want to go out like that, to be honest with you,” Kisner said. “I feel like I can still compete with the guys if I’m playing well. Which, I haven’t played what I consider well yet. So it’s kind of a sentiment to myself or testing myself to see, how hard can you work to figure it out?”

Since The Players, he has played in five events, making just two cuts.

Kisner’s career has fluctuated over the last few years. A slight resurgence in 2021-22 was quickly forgotten after a rough 2022-2023 season.

He went from playing in 24 events with one runner-up, five Top 10s, and seven Top 25s to not recording a single Top 25 last year.

Despite the poor season in which Kisner teed it up 18 times and made just eight cuts, he still earned $335,671.

His best finish was T31 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event. It still pays to play.

Yet, the former Georgia Bulldog does not know the timeline for his career.

“If I went and won next week, I’d probably be like, ‘All right, I might be done.’ I want to prove to myself that I’m not going out like this, and I’m going to grind it out through the whole season until I find some sort of success,” Kisner explained. “That’s all I want to see is the work, the fruits of the labor come back and see some success and enjoy it.”

Kisner can make whatever career decision he wants, but one has to think that stepping into that NBC Sports role would be a massive opportunity for him. However, as a competitor, giving up the game that provided him with a career must be complicated internally.

He turned professional in 2006 and has won over $29 million in his career.

“It’s hard to enjoy it when you’re getting in your head and teeth kicked in out there,” he said. “We’ve all been through it, but I just feel like I’m so close to seeing the other end of this whole poor run of play that I want to see it through.”

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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