Kisner hopes to major in sharing house with golfing royalty

Kevin Kisner (AP)
Kevin Kisner (AP)

Carnoustie - Kevin Kisner is hoping to win the biggest title of his career at Carnoustie, but he says his sparkling form at the Open Championship is not all down to the fact that he is sharing a house this week with five players who have already won majors.

The 34-year-old American, who led last year's US PGA Championship going into the final round only to fade and finish seventh, shares the lead on six under par at the halfway stage along with housemate Zach Johnson.

The latter is the elder statesman of the "frat house" and has already won the Claret Jug as well as the Masters, while fellow lodgers include reigning Open champion Jordan Spieth and former PGA champions Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker.

Rickie Fowler and Kisner are the only two of seven housemates yet to get a major under their belts - the latter would dearly love to join the club even if he insists he already shares plenty in common with his peers.

"I learned that everybody's going through the same stuff and trying to shoot the lowest score possible, and everybody puts their pants on the same way I do," Kisner said after his one-under-par second round of 70.

"So they just won a few more times than I have and probably got a couple more zeros in their bank accounts."

Kisner, who could have had the outright lead but for a double-bogey at the 18th, conceded that on returning home on Friday the conversation was likely to be dominated by their first love, golf.

That is despite the fact that Thomas may prefer to turn on the television and watch something else after a horror second round that included three successive double-bogeys and saw him miss the cut.

"Golf will probably be the tune," said Kisner.

"Everybody will tell their horror stories and good stories, and we'll laugh and eat a big old meal and sit around and watch something stupid on Netflix.

"Who knows tonight? We watched the Russian doping one (Icarus) the other night. That was pretty good."

It is the third year that Johnson has been involved in the house-share, and the devout Christian says it has made up for something he missed out on at university.

"I wasn't in a fraternity in college. It kind of feels like I'm going back to my alma mater, and I'm the old guy stepping into the current frat house," said the 42-year-old.

Johnson, who won the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2015, says it makes sense to share even if they are competing against each other.

"It does make the week significantly easier because of the amenities we have and because I'm with buddies and because I'm with guys that, I mean, certainly, I can feed off and vice versa," he said.

"It's never a bad thing to bond or hang out, whether you're competing or not."

Johnson added that they even bring their own chef, although he admitted he missed going out to eat Indian food.

"We have been fortunate, extremely fortunate, to bring a chef with us. Even though he is British, he lives in the States. So he's able to come and see some family and that kind of thing, I mean, that's huge."

However, one feature of their cohabitation that won't be repeated this year will be the winner paying for a jet to take them home, as Spieth did 12 months ago.

"Two years ago we made - I don't know if you call it a bet, but an agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home," Johnson said.

"I'd be happy to fork that out. This year a bunch of guys are going elsewhere (after the Open finishes). So it's not going to come to fruition."

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