Kurt Kitayama produced a remarkable comeback at Al Mouj Golf to win his second European Tour title of the season at the Oman Open.
The American was a single shot off the lead after 36 holes of the weather-delayed event but started his third round with a quadruple bogey eight and dropped further shots on the second and third before darkness ended proceedings on day three.
That left him seven shots off the lead heading into a marathon Sunday of 33 holes but he made six birdies and an eagle to sign for a 71 and keep his hopes alive heading into round four.
He was still two shots back with three holes to play on an attritional final day but birdies on the 16th and 17th saw him sign for a 70 and get to seven under, a shot clear of Spaniard Jorge Campillo, German Maximilian Kieffer, Frenchman Clément Sordet and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti.
Kitayama came through all three stages of the Qualifying School to earn his rookie season and now has two wins in just 11 European Tour starts after his victory at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.
The 26-year-old held the first round lead in Muscat and on day two made one of the pars of the season by getting up and down on the third after high winds blew his ball off the green and into a bunker.
‘This one feels really good because when I won the first one I was playing really well and it just felt like it was coming,’ he said. ‘This week I came in off three missed cuts and not having good weekends in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It feels great to grind through all of that.
‘The way we started that third round, I was like, “can we stop right now?”. It gave me a refresh and it was incredible coming back.’
SA’s best this week was Louis de Jager who shared 23rd place.
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