Kurt Kitayama secures maiden win at Mauritius Open

Golf


Kurt Kitayama holed an eagle and two birdies in his first five holes to lay the platform for a maiden career win at the European Tour’s Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at the Four Seasons Golf Club on Sunday.

American Kitayama, playing just his third tour event, carded a final round 68 for a 20-under par total of 268 and a two-shot victory over Frenchman Mattieu Pavon and Seenappa Chikkarangappa from India, who were tied for second after both shooting final round 67s.

Kitayama, 25, came into the final round tied for the lead with South African Justin Harding (71), but while the latter faded, the American was boosted by an eagle on the par 5 fourth hole as he got to within 15 feet of the cup with his second shot and rolled in the putt.

Having also birdied the third and then the fifth, it gave the Qualifying School graduate a lead he never relinquished as he landed birdies on the 13th and 17th, to go with bogies on seven and 16.

Harding, who has two wins on the Asian Tour and a couple on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour in 2018, finished alone in fourth place.

Major winner Ernie Else was the big drawcard in the field, but a three-over par 75 on Sunday saw him finish -3 for the tournament and tied for 47th.



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