Aiken PGA Tour pros sticking together to stay sharp until play resumes

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At first, they look like any other group of three teeing it up for a round of golf in Aiken, South Carolina. That is, until you see their professional swings, and the sponsor logos that dot their shirts, bags and hats.

With the PGA Tour season on hold, Aiken’s Kevin Kisner, Scott Brown and Matt NeSmith are sticking together with regular meetings at Palmetto Golf Club for competitive rounds and early morning workouts to stay sharp.

“Us three have kind of joined forces and taken this break as a positive and tried to put a spin on it to get stronger and get better in our golf game and stay competitive,” said Kisner, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Kisner. “It’s pretty random to be in small town Aiken, South Carolina and have three guys playing on the PGA Tour,” he added.

“You know those big cities, Dallas, and places like St. Simons, they have 15, 20 pros living down there,” said Brown. “So for me and Kiz to have somebody else that we can play with and play against it’s only a bonus for us,” he added. Brown finished tied for second behind winner Adam Scott at The Genesis Invitational in February.

Matt NeSmith had his rookie season on the PGA Tour interrupted when the tour suspended all events due to the current pandemic.

“The last few weeks it’s been really nice because we’ve kind of started to get a routine the last six or seven weeks,” said NeSmith. “It’s been really nice to wake up and know what you’re doing, instead of just flying by the seat of your pants,” added NeSmith.

Right now, the PGA Tour plans to resume playing in June with the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11 in Fort Worth, Texas. They will play the first four events without fans in attendance. The RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C. will be the second event on the schedule.

“Now that they’ve kind of thrown a date out there, we can kind of start grinding a little harder, playing a little more, trying to get back in playing shape,” said Brown.

Kisner has also scheduled a series of charity matches to raise money for his foundation, the Kevin & Brittany Kisner Foundation. He will play a nine hole match against country music singer Drew Holcomb on Tuesday, May 12. You can make a donation for every birdie and follow along on Instagram live.

“My foundation event, the main fundraiser is always in November, and with the Masters moving to that month, it’s going to make it difficult to pull that off this year,” said Kisner. “So we had to come up with more creative ways to raise the amount of funds we normally raise to keep impacting our community,” said Kisner. “So this is one way to start right here,” he added.

The healthy competition and early morning workouts between the three pros have also produced some friendly trash talk while keep each accountable.

“We’ve been working out every morning,” said Brown. “You know, Matt kind of missed this morning, so we’ve been giving him a hard time,” said Brown with a smile.

“I did not miss the workout this morning, I was late to the workout this morning,” NeSmith said with a laugh. “I was just an hour and a half after them,” the rookie said laughing. “I got everything done and I actually burned more calories than they did,” he said with a grin.

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