Kevin Kisner ALSO has a Phil Mickelson story: ‘Weirdest s**t I’ve ever done’

Kevin Kisner, Phil Mickelson

Kevin Kisner, left, and Phil Mickelson during the 2017 Presidents Cup.

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Phil Mickelson. Kevin Kisner. The Presidents Cup. 

And an “astronomer.”

And Kisner’s belly. 

And the “weirdest s**t” Kisner says he’s ever done in his life.

Interested? Good, because Kisner is sharing.

He shared last weekend, right? The longtime pro kicked off a two-tournament gig then as an analyst for NBC. And there were Kisner stories of Jordan Spieth. Of Scottie Scheffler. Of anyone who crossed the monitor. Kisner is a talker, and there is little doubt why he was picked for the role.  

Of course, we didn’t hear every story, though. Smylie Kaufman, himself an NBC analyst, said he caught others, in fact. 

Including one about, yeah, a belly. And Kisner was Kaufman’s guest this week on his The Smylie Show podcast, where Kaufman nudged Kisner to tell that one, too.  

With that, we’ll stop our setup. And you should go listen to the entire podcast, which you can do so here. We’ll wait until you get back. 

OK, here’s Kisner. The scene is the 2017 Presidents Cup, held at Liberty National, and Kisner and Mickelson are part of the 12-member U.S. squad captained by Steve Stricker. We’ll add notes where needed. 

“Yeah, so I don’t know Phil that well, I mean other than playing with him a few times leading up,” Kisner began on the podcast. “And I’m in a pod with like Chappy [Kevin Chappell] and Charley Hoffman or somebody, some of my buds. And on Wednesday [one day before the event’s start], Strick’s like, hey, Kis, we’re switching up the pods today and you’re going to go with Phil, and I can’t remember — it was like Kuch [Matt Kuchar] and D.J [Dustin Johnson]; Phil, Kuch and D.J., that’s who it was because we played a big money match with them that day and we were just getting slaughtered out there. …

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“Phil and I played them two. We were going to play best ball on the front and alternate shot on the back. And we’re going and the whole time, I’m trying to figure out like what the hell am I doing here — am I not playing at all this week or something; what’s going on? So the third hole comes up and Phil hasn’t found his ball in three holes. Like we’re literally yelling fore — snap hooks, hi-yahs — and I’m like, jeez, he’s playing bad. I hadn’t seen him play all week and then Strick rides up and he’s like, ‘Hey, Kis, you’re going to go in our anchor match with Phil, alternate shot, tomorrow. You’re all going to play J-Day [Jason Day] and Marc Leishman.’ And J-Day and Marc Leishman were their two best players at the time. They were rolling, right? And so I’m like, holy s**t, I don’t know anything about Phil. Like what is going on. Phil proceeds to shoot like 46 on the front nine. Doesn’t cut me a hole. We’re down like three down. D.J. and Kuchar are laughing their ass off. I’m just getting smashed and now I got to play with Phil. I’m telling you Phil can’t hit it on the planet. I’ve never seen anything like it. 

“So we go to the back nine and all of a sudden it goes to alternate shot, he just starts striping it. I’m like, what in the world is going on? Anyway, fast-forward, we get done, we lose. I’m like, Strick — pull Strick aside — what the hell is going on, man? Why am I playing with Phil? Like literally in my pregame, I can’t play with Phil — I hit all the fairways; Phil never hits one; I don’t know how to play with that guy. 

“And so I’m playing with Phil, and he’s [Stricker] like, well, Phil has an astronomer [astrologer] that graded all the two teams and you got the highest grade and so he’s basically just told us that he wasn’t playing with anyone but you. So I was like, oh s**t, that’s the weirdest s**t I’ve ever heard in my life. 

“And so I go talk to Phil. I’m like, what’s up with this astronomer? [He says:] ‘Not only that, Kis — every time I hit a shot, I need you to face me with your belly, because all your energy comes from your belly and I can pool your energy before every shot.’ And I was like, judging by the front nine today, I don’t have enough energy to save us, and this is going to be brutal. 

“So whatever, the next day, and sure enough, he doesn’t f***ing forget one. Every time he goes to hit, he’s like, Kis, Kis, here, stand right here. I’m like, Jesus, this is the weirdest s**t I’ve ever done in my life. And we missed one fairway in that match in alternate shot on Thursday, and I missed it. He hit every fairway that was his tee ball. I missed one fairway and we drummed J-Day and Marc Leishman. [Mickelson and Kisner halved the match.]

“It was one of the greatest turnarounds in ball-striking overnight I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Said Kaufman: “I mean, you can’t make it up, Kis.” 

Said Kisner: “So it must have been my energy, to be honest.” 

Said Kaufman: “It was your energy. And tell me about the shot he hit into that one hole; it was probably like — was it a 3-iron or something he hit? 

Said Kisner: “Yeah, it was the third hole of the day. It was straight in the wind and it was my hole to drive. I hit it in the fairway, and I was like, yeah, you’re probably not going to play well from there — you’re so unused to being there. He’s like, ha ha, whatever. And he stands over his 3-iron. It’s 230. Blowing 30 mph. And he hits this shot and I look up and it’s not leaving the flag — the flag is just over a bunker. And it lands just over the bunker and it rolls up there in the leather. And I said, damn, good shot, pro. And he’s like, thank you. And I started walking off. And he goes, hey, Kis, hold on a second. I said, yeah, what’s up? He said, ‘I made that look a lot easier than it was, I just want you to know that.’”    

Said Kaufman: “I mean, you just can’t make it up.” 

Said Kisner: “You cannot make it up.”

And there’s the story of Phil Mickelson. And Kevin Kisner. And the Presidents Cup. And “astronomers.” And Kisner’s belly. And the “weirdest s**t” Kisner says he’s ever done in his life.

Which Mickelson himself said happened. 

A video of the podcast started to make the rounds on Wednesday — and Mickelson shared it and wrote:

“True story.” 

Editor’s note: To listen to the entire episode of the Smylie Show, please click here.   

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at