Kevin Kisner, who is tied for the lead entering the third round at The Open Championship, as he looks for his first win at a major. Kisner, 34, has had the support of his family as he has risen through the ranks of professional golf. The South Carolina native is married and has two young children. He also has had his mother, father and sister by his side during his golf journey.
Here’s what you need to know about Kevin Kisner’s wife and family:
1. Kevin Kisner Met His Wife at a Country Concert in 2006 When They Were Students at the University of Georgia & They Were Married in May 2012
Kevin Kisner and his wife, Brittany DeJarnett Kisner, met in 2006 when they were both students at the University of Georgia. They were at a country concert, featuring the band Kinchafoonee Cowboys, according to The Island Packet. They were married in Athens, Georgia, their college town, in May 2012.
Brittany DeJarnett, 33, grew up in small town Madison, Georgia, where her father was the school district’s superintendent, according to The Island Packet. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2007 and then finished her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2009. She has worked with special-needs children at a hospital in Augusta, Georgia, and with children in the Aiken, South Carolina, area. Brittany Kisner has also been involved with the PGA Tour Wives Association and currently sits on its board of directors as vice president of membership, according to the organization’s website.
She has been by her husband’s side throughout his career, and knew what she was getting into, she told The Island Packet. “I don’t think people realize what a grind golf is,” Kevin Kisner told the newspaper. Brittany Kisner said she watched as her husband struggled on the smaller tours as he made his way to the PGA Tour.
“I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. It gives perspective. Golf brings the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s just a fickle game. You have to be prepared for that,” she told The Island Packet. “I think he will win many more tournaments, but whether he does or not, we as a family will be fine.”
2. He & His Wife Have 2 Children, a Daughter & a Son
Kevin Kisner and his wife, Brittany, have two children, a daughter, Kate, and a son, Henry. His daughter was born in June 2015, right before he played in his first major tournament at the U.S. Open, according to The State newspaper.
“Our first child, his first major (tournament) and a big step in his career all at the same time. I didn’t know what was going on,” Brittany Kisner told the newspaper. Kisner has had his best years in golf since his daughter’s birth, and his wife said there might be a correlation “I don’t know; he has put a lot of hard work into his golf game. But things are good. He has a happy, loving family waiting for him no matter how he plays,” she told The State in 2015.
“They have traveled a lot with me, and it’s cool to have them waiting for me after I finish. If you think about it, I’m a typical dad. I go to work, get the job done the best I can and come home to the family. It’s just that my job is professional golfer and different from most,” Kevin Kisner told the newspaper.
His wife told The State, “He’s very hands-on. He’s pretty good at diaper duty, and it’s so nice that we can be together. So much revolves around his schedule, and Kate is a great little traveler. The way he comes home from the golf course really puts things in perspective.”
Their son, Henry, was born in September 2017. Kisner took a long fall break to spend some time with his young family, according to Golfweek.
3. Kisner’s Parents Went to High School Together in Charlotte Before Settling in Aiken, South Carolina, Where Kevin Was Raised
Kevin Kisner’s parents, Steve and Christy Kisner, both went to Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to the Charlotte Observer. They moved to Aiken, South Carolina, when Steve Kisner took a job there, and that is where Kevin was raised.
Christy Kisner is a Duke graduate and Steve Kisner attended North Carolina State. His father works in the construction business and his mother is in sales. Kevin almost joined his father’s business after a rough 2009 season in which he failed to qualify for the PGA Tour. But after a conversation with the family’s minister, at his mother’s urging, he stuck with the game.
“(The minister) said, ‘Do you think your daddy gets up every day and thinks, ‘My purpose in life is to build a house?’’I don’t think that’s your daddy’s purpose. You need to think about what’s going on in your life besides golf,” Christy Kisner told Augusta.com.
“I knew right away that construction and development was not going to be Kevin’s cup of tea,” his father told the newspaper.
Aiken is about 30 minutes outside of Augusta, Georgia, and Kisner grew up dreaming about playing there at The Masters. He promised his mother he would get there. “We’ve never had tickets, and I always love going. He said ‘Mom, don’t worry about it, I’ll get you there.’ That’s when I said, ‘Get me there while I can still walk it,'” Christy Kisner told Augusta.com. Kevin made his first Masters in 2016.
His grandmother, Fern Kisner, still lives in Charlotte and is a big golf fan, according to the Observer. “She’s doing good. Phil (Mickelson) is still her favorite golfer, though,” Kevin Kisner told the newspaper in August 2017.
Kisner is the youngest of three children. He has an older brother, Kris Kisner, who is 41, and a sister, Stephanie, who is 36.
His sister, Stephanie, told the Aiken Standard she has been one of his biggest fans since his days in junior golf, when she would at times drive him to matches. She told the newspaper she is proud that her brother has stayed himself during his ascent through the golf rank, adding that he is a “fun spirit” who likes playing practical jokes. She also said he is a “go-getter,” who will chase down whatever he wants.
4. Kisner, Who Picked Up the Game of Golf From His Father, Surprised Him on Father’s Day in 2014 by Pulling Him From the Gallery to Caddy for Him at the US Open
Kisner’s dad, Steve Kisner, told the Aiken Standard his son picked up the game of golf from him as a young kid. “I played golf a lot, and Kevin started playing with me. It didn’t take long for him to reach a point where he was beating me, so I decided to give it up and watch him play,” he told the newspaper in 2014.
Christy Kisner told the newspaper, “From an early age you can tell that he was very competitive. The question was, would he ever reach a point to where he could compete at this level. There were some ups and downs, but he’s had a breakout year, so now I think the confidence level is such that he knows he can compete with the best of them.”
In 2014, Kevin Kisner surprised his dad on Father’s Day by pulling him from the gallery to be his caddie at the U.S. Open. Just before the 17th hole at Pinehurst, in his father’s home state of North Carolina, Kisner’s regular caddie, Duane Bock, came up to Steve and gave him his son’s bag, telling him to take over. After trying to turn it down out of respect to Bock, Steve Kisner relented and came onto the course.
“At first I was a little concerned about interfering with the group,” Steve Kisner told PGA.com. “One of the guys still had a chance to make the cut and I didn’t want to change the flow. But Kevin insisted, and once he insisted I was glad to do it.”
“Walking up 18 I choked up,” Steve Kisner told Golfweek. He said he had caddied for his son before he made it to the PGA Tour. Kevin had hoped to surprise his dad on Sunday, but he wasn’t going to make the cut, so they had an early Father’s Day moment.
“But we’ll still have a good Father’s Day. We’ll go to church and have lunch with the family. That’ll be just as special,” Kevin told GolfWeek. That moment with his father came just days after his daughter, his first child, was born.
Kevin Kisner’s mother, Christy, also had a memorable moment on the golf course. In 2015, she was in the gallery when an errant shot by Graeme McDowell struck her in the ankle and then bounced onto the fairway.
She was pictured on social media icing her ankle, but wasn’t seriously injured. The ricochet off her ankle did help out her son’s opponent, as the ball bounced back onto the fairway and McDowell was able to par the hole. It didn’t end up costing her son anything though, as he went on to win that tournament, the RSM Classic, by six, for his first win on the PGA Tour.
She told Augusta.com, “Kevin said, ‘Mom, nice assist. Next time, put it in the junk.'”
5. Kisner & His Wife Live in Aiken & Recently Started a Foundation to Help Give Back to the Community
Kevin Kisner and his wife, Brittany Kisner, live in Kevin’s hometown of Aiken, South Carolina at a house on the Palmetto Golf Club. They started the Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation in 2017 in an effort to give back to the community, according to the Aiken Standard. She told the newspaper that her work as a speech pathologist with children in the Aiken area inspired her and her husband to start the charity organization.
According to the charity’s website, “The Kevin & Brittany Kisner Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to creating a positive environment for children to grow into responsible adults. Charitable Funding is provided for organizations that promote children’s fitness, health, education and opportunities to participate in sports.” The charity’s board is made up of friends, family members and community leaders. ” We are committed to making a difference in the lives of children in the CSRA,” the website says.
“Ever since I began my career in professional golf a personal goal has always been to establish a foundation focused on children and their well-being. Brittany and I are grateful that we have the opportunity to live in such a caring community,” Kevin Kisner wrote on the foundation’s website. “We want all children in the Central Savannah River Area to have the opportunity to flourish. Our mission is to support organizations that serve children in one or more of the following areas: child health, education, youth sports. ”
Brittany Kisner added “Kevin and I have always had a heart for children. As our family has grown we have become even more committed to providing opportunities for children to build a strong foundation for success in life. We are excited to partner with deserving organizations that are focused on early learning and physical and emotional health. Together we can make a difference for our youth and our community.”