Though Kevin Kisner was a four-time All-American at Georgia, the South Carolina native was slow to succeed as a tour pro and struggled to the point of almost giving up. "Three years ago, my swing had deteriorated so much I had the shanks," Kisner says. "I was embarrassed to play practice rounds with the other players."
In desperation, he went to John Tillery, a well-known teacher at Cuscowilla in Eatonton, Ga. "John saved my career," Kisner says. Tillery remembers that first lesson: "Kevin started hitting balls, and I didn't say anything for 30 minutes. His shots were almost hitting the bay door on the right." They put the clubs away and talked for three hours.
"Kevin comes across as a laid-back good ol' boy, but he's an extremely hard worker and a very smart guy," Tillery says. "His success last year didn't just pop up out of nowhere. It took six months to start seeing legitimate progress in competition."
After losing three playoffs—including a four-holer against Rickie Fowler at the Players—Kisner won the RSM Classic in November. He has been in the top 5 of the FedEx points race ever since.